Not a standard second album, instead Chopped & Screwed is the result of a live collaboration between Mici Levi and her band and leading contemporary orchestra, the London Sinfonietta last year. It’s Micachu, folks, but not as we know her. The process of chopping and screwing is a hip-hop technique whereby the tempo is halved, beats are skipped and the result is different from the original in almost every way. Think normal tunes but sloooooooooooooowed waaaaaaaay dooooooooown to the point where the hip, the hop and the hype are barely recognisable. The result is a funereal drone, with the music seeping out in barely recognisable melodies and plenty of cacophonic noise to be getting along with: the musical interlude at the end of ‘Unlucky’ sounds like a troop of cats got loose in the orchestra pit. Think weird and wonderful, but without so much of the wonderful. The exceptions are the wonderfully menacing ‘Everything’ and ‘Low Dogg’, which come across like a late night collaboration between Four-tet and Portishead, and hint at what could have been achieved. Full marks to Micachu and her cohorts for innovation and a sense of experimentation so often missing from music these days, but surely a coherent tune or two wouldn’t have been too much to ask for.
by John Walshe / March 25th, 2011 /
Micachu and the Shapes and the London Sinfonietta – Chopped And Screwed