Micachu And The Shapes With The London Sinfonietta Chopped And Screwed on Limited Edition LP
Chopped & Screwed is the collaboration between London based musician Mica Levi aka Micachu and one of the world's leading contemporary orchestras, the London Sinfonietta Orchestra. Following critical acclaim for Micachu & the Shapes's debut album Jewellery, the collaboration came about as the Sinfonietta had picked up on the fact that Mica is a trained classical composer who was interested in experimenting with new forms, and was someone whose ideas would meld well with the avant-garde philosophy of the Sinfonietta itself.
The concept behind the 2011 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. Recorded live in front of an audience, the concert took place at King's Place on May 10, 2010 a recently built and specially designed venue, treated to showcase the best classical and acoustic music in London. The sound blends the organic, the digital and the analogue with instruments such as homemade guitars and a vacuum cleaner.
For this exciting, innovative project Mica and David Sylvester handmade the instruments played by Micachu & The Shapes on this recording. Mica explains: "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. Doing a project with the London Sinfonietta is an amazing opportunity for us."
"In musical terms, this mash-up of chamber orchestra and avant-garde pop was thrilling." - The Guardian