Monday, June 4, 2012

Pitstop: Micachu and the Shapes


One of the greatest and most simplest ways to find something new that you're bound to love is to follow tips from bands/artists you love. It just makes sense. And that's how I was introduced to UK experimental trio Micachu and the Shapes. Through tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus in tweet form after their most recent show together at Terminal 5. The brainchild of London composer Mica Levi, Micachu and the Shapes (Micachu being Levi's adopted stage name) play stitched up pop with an avant-garde twist. That's about the simplest way to explain what this band does but in no way is it the most definitive. And that definition of sound may not define the group for very much longer as the threesome prep to release their sophomore record Never, the follow up to their rather poppy debut Jewellry.

 Micachu - Golden Phone by The Green Bird Heard

Preview tracks "Never" and "OK" mark a far less accessible and linear style for the band which while not completely out of the ordinary for the three-piece promises to be a fairly enjoyable departure from their debut.

Considering how catchy their debut is, I'm a little surprised that the track that most hooked me was from a live album they recorded with the London Sinfonetta (which is fitting as Levi's work is not wholly out of the conventions of modern classical music). "Everything", from the aforementioned live album entitled Chopped & Screwed, is the first track I ever heard from the group and currently my absolute favorite. It's an expansive yet simple glitch-pop gem. Or at least it sounds like Micachu's cut-copy style of glitch but couldn't possibly be when you realize it's live which is a mindboggling effect really. Combined are minimalistic percussive rhythms with lightning quick flutters from winds and dissonance that gives the track's perpetual motion a sort of discomforting unease. Levi employs a rapid-fire assortment of techniques that gives the track an added layer of depth besides it's large number of players. It's the kind of track that upon each listen you heard something entirely new: a pizzicato here, rumbling bass riff, a tunefully hit woodblock, each instrument arises and fades in a flash requiring your absolute attention and even then it might not be enough. 

 03 Everything/Micachu & the Shapes and the London Sinfonietta/Chopped & Screwed by ohtaffeta

Micachu and the Shapes' Never is due out July 24th on Rough Trade Records.

You can hear Micachu's Jewellry and Chopped & Screwed on Spotify.

No comments:

Post a Comment