Image from sublunacity.bandcamp.com
No other young modicum displays so much knowledge of musical history such as the young cats in this group. Rarely any other group can create such a subversive, cloudy compilation of Rap tracks and still make it so memorable.
At the start of 2014, young Londoner icon Archy Marshall, known by his infamous moniker as King Krule, spontaneously released an EP with his fellow Hip-Hop Bedoiuns.
Included in the Bedouin tribe is King Krule touring and production affiliate Rago Foot, staunch lyrical gymnast Jadasea, heavy beat conductor Black Mack, and other fellow shadowed musicians and engineers.
The result became Sub Luna City and their supposedly only musical project by far, City Rivims MK 1. Whether this project deserves a resurgence through a second effort isn’t important. The project alone displays all their music characters with such strength, while also testing their limit to seamlessly work together.
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City Rivims MK 1 is composed of eleven tracks altogether. Through these tracks comes narratives that manifest from their surrounding environment. The gloomy urban sect of South London and Peckham which compels stories of bandits, thieves, laborers, and the urban dreaded.
Although, instead of taking this approach with melancholy representation, the group pays tribute to the Hip-Hop dialect that, at the time, was almost ignored and forgotten. These tracks are ripe with inspired poetry blended with gradient production sampling and mellow direction.
The first track of the project is entitled The Preface. The first voice heard here is the prose of Rago Foot. Right away it is apparent that his approach relies heavily on metaphorical dissection and blissful warnings. The next poet, Jadasea, amplifies the formula with his monomaniac lyrical capability.
The other half of the train foreshadowing the EP’s power is the hazy production. There is nothing boisterous about the sound play. The production eludes hazy smoke and clears away the mist with condensed drizzle.
The next track entitled She Whispered In My Ear walks away from the dreariness and pays a dedication to Hip-Hop of the past. The production is lacquered with looped chords, pelting drums, and a blissful sample of Alicia Key’s Un-thinkable (I’m Ready).
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The group excites their delivery and goes from prose to prose without shortness of breath. Jadasea delivers his prose with such dedication. His bravado attitude towards his alliteration mixes fluidly with the production.
“Quick with it, slip with it picnic kid. When shit hit, it feels split, wicked and rugged. Money on my mind. Ate my soul, that just love it.”
The next track, Hot Lead, is a minute and a half long beat that contains samples of their voices instead of any lyrical content. At this point, the EP submerges deeper into the percolating mist.
The following tracks, Outta Sight, is another lyrical onslaught from Jadasea over the London beat, with Jadasea once again utilizing his refined technique of alliteration.
“But you can’t intimidate these minds. They be righteous, might just, beat’em and they ain’t like us. Likely, that they sight me.”
In between the lyrical tracks of Cc, Weed and Warfare, and Water Balloon are mystifying beats such as 2 Cats and So Many Wings.
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With these tracks, the bliss of minimalist effort becomes apparent. The production is powerful not because of it’s quantitative display, but because of their effective limitations. There is only a sample, followed by melting chords and heavy drums and snares to paint the black-and-white portrait of the nightly U.K.
These tracks alternate back and forth, leading up the six-minute opus of Salamander’s Passage.
Salamander’s Passage is as harrowing as it is sedating. The production holds the gorgeous English quality of the other tracks, but hushed and instead allows its storyteller, Rago Foot, to take the main spotlight.
The chords in the song quietly step in a paced pattern. These chords are essentially the undiscovered London chimes that this group seemed to have found. In this track, Rago Foot takes his position as the narrator of the track.
Image from sublunacity.bandcamp.com
Rago Foot capsulizes the themes and topics pointed out in the EP. All wrapped and pointed out in this six-minute prose. The song details Rago Foot’s grievances compelled by urban grit and social corruption. He delivers his grievances with confidence rather than grief, ending his prose with:
“I am the embodiment of rigor mortis. Then I exit this boss scene saying ‘I’ll be back.'”
The young coterie demonstrated such musical prowess with this EP. Their brutish lyrical potential supported by the rarefied London-inspired production make for a unique experience to behold in your collection. This EP by no means garnered the amount of attention it deserved.
Or maybe it shouldn’t have received as much. Now with King Krule nearing the Pop icon status after The Ooz in 2017, as well as the other members treading their own musical paths, this is a rare inspiration that may not receive an emulation for the upcoming future.
Regardless if it does or not, City Rivims MK 1 will be an intelligent demonstration constructed by a group of young bandits who were just ready enough to take on the world.