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Micachu announces new album in collaboration with the London Sinfonietta

By ; January 24, 2011 at 11:02 AM 

Mica Levi, better known as Micachu, along with her band the Shapes have announced a new release. The new album, entitled Chopped & Screwed, is a follow up of sorts to their 2009 debut album Jewellery, although the true studio follow up is promised for later this year.

Chopped & Screwed was recorded in front of a live audience at London’s King’s Place where the band were accompanied by the London Sinfonietta. More information about the genesis of the project comes from the press release and the video below.

The Sinfonietta invited Mica, Micachu & The Shapes’ frontwoman, to compose a series of pieces that would reflect her interests and influences, whilst giving the Sinfonietta an opportunity to develop a relationship with a young and exciting composer. She then presented the ideas of Raisa, Marc and herself to the Sinfonietta’s players, who then helped the trio to expand and enhance their ideas during a series of workshops prior to the concert.

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.

Additionally Micachu & the Shapes created their own instruments to play during the recording.

It certainly sounds like an interesting project and you’ll be able to hear it on March 28th when Rough Trade releases it. Along with the album will come a mixtape that features the artist Brother May and continues the “chopping and screwing” idea into grime tracks.

Chopped & Screwed Tracklisting:

01. State of New York
02. Unlucky
03. Everything
04. Average
05. Freaks
06. Medicine
07. Low Dogg
08. Fall
09. Not So Sure

Here’s a short documentary about the project:


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