14 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Micachu (Mica Levi) & the Shapes are making some brilliantly strange and beautiful noise; dare we call it “cutting edge?” Imagine if M.I.A. had grown up listening to Harry Partch or John Cage; if the Slits had come of age in the new millennium when everything to do with art and music is but a computer keystroke away; if the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and Xiu Xiu hooked up at a London grime party and procreated ...  Jewellery, produced by acclaimed British electronic musician Matthew Herbert, is a 35-minute rhythmic mash of primitive punk squonk, folk dissonance, and naïve jazz scribbling. Playing “modified” guitars and unorthodox homemade instruments (including a vacuum cleaner), Micachu  — a formally trained, 21-year old musician who recently wrote a piece for the London Philharmonic Orchestra — is joined by Raisa Khan on keyboards and Marc Pell on drums. If you’re reluctant to try a little artiness with your pop, go for the single first; “Golden Phone” has a joyful, slinky, dance beat, and sweetly soothing vocals. You almost don’t notice the sound of breaking glass halfway through.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Micachu (Mica Levi) & the Shapes are making some brilliantly strange and beautiful noise; dare we call it “cutting edge?” Imagine if M.I.A. had grown up listening to Harry Partch or John Cage; if the Slits had come of age in the new millennium when everything to do with art and music is but a computer keystroke away; if the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and Xiu Xiu hooked up at a London grime party and procreated ...  Jewellery, produced by acclaimed British electronic musician Matthew Herbert, is a 35-minute rhythmic mash of primitive punk squonk, folk dissonance, and naïve jazz scribbling. Playing “modified” guitars and unorthodox homemade instruments (including a vacuum cleaner), Micachu  — a formally trained, 21-year old musician who recently wrote a piece for the London Philharmonic Orchestra — is joined by Raisa Khan on keyboards and Marc Pell on drums. If you’re reluctant to try a little artiness with your pop, go for the single first; “Golden Phone” has a joyful, slinky, dance beat, and sweetly soothing vocals. You almost don’t notice the sound of breaking glass halfway through.

TITLE TIME
2:49
1:20
0:52
2:21
2:26
2:43
1:54
1:23
2:46
3:08
3:34
2:57
2:54
1:30

About Micachu

Micachu is the stage name of Mica Levi, a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist born in Surrey, England, and raised in the Bow area of East London. Levi's music, which she calls experimental pop, is a boundary-blurring mix of hip-hop-tinged beats, found sound samples, singalong melodies, rock guitar, and the odd vacuum cleaner or two. She also makes her own instruments, including the Chu, an adapted guitar that she named after herself. Levi began playing and composing music at age four, but despite her classical training -- which included studying viola, violin, and composition at the Purcell School and studying composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama -- Levi was just as inspired by hip-hop and the U.K.'s thriving grime and garage scenes. Along with DJing and MCing at shows and creating her own loops and beats in her bedroom, Levi released a mixtape called Filthy Friends on her MySpace page that spanned all of her pop, classical, and hip-hop favorites, including Golden Silvers, Man Like Me, and Jack Peñate. Micachu connected with producer Matthew Herbert, who signed her to his Accidental label and worked with her on songs for her debut album; late in 2007, she decided to broaden her music to a live, full-band sound, so she recruited drummer/percussionist Marc Pell and keyboardist Raisa Khan to form the Shapes. The band released its debut limited-edition single, Lone Ranger, in May 2008 and its follow-up, Golden Phone, which became a MySpace hit. That year, Levi also had one of her works performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall as a part of her composition studies. Micachu and the Shapes toured that spring and summer, playing with the Mystery Jets and dates at Bestival and V Festival. In spring 2009 Micachu's debut album, Jewellery, was released by Rough Trade Records. ~ Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    Surrey, England
  • BORN
    1987

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