by / February 3rd, 2011 /

Micachu & the Shapes … and the London Sinfonietta

For her follow-up to Jewellery Mica Levi has got back together with The Shapes and created a record entitled Chopped and Screwed. Self-described as “classical crunk” the trio collaborated with London Sinfonietta – one of the world’s leading contemporary orchestras no less – to create this concept album.

The concept behind the album was inspired by the popular “chopping and screwing” technique in American hip-hop which was developed in Houston in the 1990s. The technique involves halving tempo, skipping beats and affecting portions of the original music. The approach was thought to have been developed by DJ Screw and largely influenced by Purple Drank, a codeine-based cough syrup which creates the effect of slowing down the brain, giving mellow music its appeal.

On top of this approach Micachu & The Shapes brought their own punk-DIY approach to the table, speaking of how she and David Sylvester made their own instruments Mica explained:

“Our own instruments sound a bit percussive, a bit like samples, a bit different. When I write songs on a guitar I find my hands falling into the same bar chords all the time, but if you have something new in front of you there are no rules. No one else has ever played one before so you can approach music differently just make it up as you go along.”

The album will be released through Rough Trade on 28th March 2011 but first here’s the lead track ‘Everything’.

The band also performed a live concert with Sinfionetta which was recorded and broadcast by Channel 4’s 4Play.