Slime

by Gus Donohoo

Slime is the moniker of Will Archer, a London-based musician and producer hailing originally from Newcastle. Archer greeted me from a colorful and somewhat eccentric living room in London, via a Skype call from Hollywood.

His music has a smooth liquid quality to it—it flows with a soft viscosity, and mixes an extraordinary variety of instrumentation with delicate overlapping vocals. Remarkably, Archer informs me: “I play absolutely every tiny little noise you can hear on that record.”

This is surprising, both for the incredible variety of instruments involved, and for the quality of his voice, which projects as distinctly ethereal, and at times quite feminine. Single-handedly producing such a technically complex sound raises challenges for the translation into live performance. So during shows friends accompany Archer on everything from oboe, to cello, guitar, saxophone, percussion, and keys.

“Basically everyone in the group can play a couple of instruments,” he tells me, “the idea is to swap around so it’s like a mode of interactive performance.”

The end-product oozes like honey, so perhaps Slime is a more apt name for his project than might be guessed from its origin story. “[It was] a joke.“ He tells me, “We were really baked in my room.”

But from that humble beginning, Archer has found an interesting reason to stay as Slime: “I don’t think that I have a choice. One thing that I’ve seen is that it’s an automatic test for someone’s patience. Music is digested online. You see a name, and you see a title, and you see a picture, and if one of those three things doesn’t grab your attention then it’s never going to go further than that. There are people who don’t get past a shit name like Slime—or a potentially shit name—I would like to think it’s a more rewarding experience.”

In the case of Slime, it certainly is.

Photographer: Bella Howard for Sixsevenphotographic.com.

Producer: Jane Everett for Pranaproduction.co.uk.

Production Assistant: Lousie Baker for Pranaproduction.co.uk.