Despite having been on less songs than I can count on my hand, Jesse James is one of the most exciting rappers coming out of the UK right now. Teaming up with the equally laid-back Rago Foot, James hops on a jazzy and downtempo beat from Edgar the Beatmaker (another pen name of Archie Marshall a.k.a. King Krule a.k.a. Lankslacks a.k.a. DJJD Sports) on “Deezle”. Like his features on “Trashy” and “Meddling Loops”, James’ lyrics lean toward smoked-out poetics that move at their on hushed and unhurried pace. Edgar himself shows up on the chorus of the track to take on parts of Billy Holiday’s “Lover, Come Back to Me”.
When he’s not putting out atmospheric and experimental blues-based music as King Krule, Archie Marshall has been releasing a steady supply of atmospheric and experimental hip-hop as DJ JD Sports. While King Krule finds Marshall at his most introspective and personal, DJ JD Sports has always seemed to be Marshall’s output for collaborative, half-baked and less serious projects. Marshall’s newest release has him remixing “Midnight Snack” from his friend Jerkclub into a hip-hop styled beat and calling on more friends to rap over it. Not surprisingly, DJ JD Sports’ reinterpretation is a sparingly gorgeous instrumental that provides the perfect platform for his friends to provide stoned flows over. None of the rappers featured show any interest in out boasting the other and instead mix stoner introspection with pokemon references without any sense of urgency or purpose. It’s a refreshingly laidback approach that results in the “Midnight Snacks” remix sounding like a group of friends freestyling together to pass the time, which is probably exactly how it started.
Angel Haze burst onto the blogosphere earlier this year with one of the most hyped and buzzed rap singles of 2012 with ‘New York’. While we never hopped on the Angel Haze bandwagon, it’s pretty hard to ignore the immense amount of raw and gimmick-less talent coming from the female rapper. While a lot of the praise for the single revolved around the stripped down beat that forced Angel Haze to rely solely on her lyrics to keep the track interesting, King Krule’s rework takes the hand claps and layers them through gorgeous synth chord changes, a boom bap beat and plenty of extra atmospheric brilliance. The result may be less unfiltered than the original but the extra melody and dynamics only adds to the vibe of the track and manages to stay true to the original’s intentions.
If you frequent The Up-Turn, you might remember this post I made at the beginning of the year about Archy Marshall’s (AKA King Krule and Zoo Kid) widely unknown alias, DJ JD Sports, and the interesting and experimental music he makes and releases on Soundcloud under that name. In that post, I included a song called “The Octopus” which, if I am correct, was recorded in a free trial of a program that only allowed Archy 24 hours to work on a piece before having to export it. Now, Archy has finished that song out, expanding it to over 3 minutes long, and released it as King Krule. The new version moves closer to his more well-known style, adding some jazzy guitar playing and live drums. I’m not sure if this will be included on King Krule’s upcoming album which he has alluded to a couple of times, but just like the other tracks he has released since his EP (“Greener Delphing” and “Rock Bottom”), it has me even more anxious to get my hands on that LP.
All rejoice, King Krule is back. I thought one of the only flaws with King Krule’s debut EP, was that it left me wanting more new songs from King Krule, so now that I have one I’m pretty excited. ”Rock Bottom” as per Archy Marshall’s usual style makes use of some incredibly well written jazzy chord progressions and emotive vocals, but also brings some new ideas to the production department. The song places Marshall’s vocals out in front as the centerpiece of the track and mixes extremely hi-fi recording with occasional crackly drum fills that sound like they could be sampled. I hope this single is finally leading up to a full-length from King Krule because I’ve been dying for one ever since I first heard “Out Getting Ribs”.
It’s been too long since we’ve been able to listen to some experimental and atmospheric music from London’s Jamie Isaac so ‘An Aus Trail – (The Iron Horse Dream)’ comes as a nice surprise this morning. Although this track probably won’t become your August summer anthem, ‘An Aus Trail – (The Iron Horse Dream)’ continues Jamie Isaac’s reign as the king of atmospheric, rainy day music. The track is all about subtle beauties from the way the background vocals swell around Isaac’s voice to the rain drop-light drum beat that hangs in the back of the recording. Isaac doesn’t waste a chord or even a single sound in this song, with the minimalist style ensuring that every part of the song only adds and never complicates. Stream the track below and download for free at his bandcamp…
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with friends lately about the state of the hip-hop music scene and we all pretty much agree that hip-hop is in a renaissance of sorts. Sure there are still leagues more bad rappers than good ones, but there are a lot more talented rappers and artists putting out music these days than a few years ago. A Yellow Man are the latest group to showcase the great scene bursting in the British Isles right now lead by artists like Rejjie Snow, King Krule and Young Fathers. A Yellow Man are a trio that make the incredibly soulful and atmospheric hip-hop that we’ve come to expect from the U.K. It probably helps that the female member of the group has an amazing singing voice. Listen to more A Yellow Man at their youtube…