Sunday, 15 January 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #22 - Micachu & The Shapes London Sinfonietta, "Chopped & Screwed"

Interesting after listening to Bill Ryder-Jones use orchestral music as a contemplative device last night, as an emotional weight, that Micachu & The Shapes and London Sinfonietta have worked together to create something more monstrous, more of one mind and purpose. It twitches, it fidgets, it stings with hormones - pulling its body and mine with it in one nightmare-ish direction then the next. I suppose the fact it's a live recording gives it the performative edge I was saying BRJ was moving away from with "If..."

"Fears they saturate/My time and space" ("Everything")

The strings slide and the other instruments really struggle to keep things together, everything tugging at the nerve endings and wheezing at the throat. On "Freaks" there's a heavily treated instrument that might be stringed, that might have bellows, and sounds like a rusted see-saw in a very bad children's playground; leaden skies, dog skids and broken glass. "Medicine" might be played mournfully on milk bottles. "Fall" starts out a dizzying climax to some thirtes film noir played on space oboes, Freudian cellos and skeltering cross-cut saws. It's all very bendy music, but not like rainbows are bendy - like carpets are bendy at the bottom of a K-hole. "Not So Sure" is relatively sure-footed at the close. There's some solid ground, shoots of grass and everything.

"Chopped & Screwed" is a reference to a habit of some Houston DJs in the mid-Nineties that slowed down and manipulated beats to crate a haze of druggy delay and disorientation - one DJ Screw being mentioned in particular.

But other than offering a template for the chillwave tsunami that has yet to pull back from the shore, I'm not completely sold on the connection. Slowed down vocals, yes - "Unlucky" has a juicy slurred paranoia running through it. But the homemade instruments seem a very different proposition.

In short, I liked "Jewellery" a whole bunch of QVC lot; and I like this too.

Rating; Paranoia out of Home-Made Monsters

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