Label: Rough Trade Release Date: 28/03/11 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon Chopped and screwed music, hip hop played at reduced speed with bits cut and chopped and the track diced to create a more atmospheric and slower version of the original track, has been around since the early 90’s. It’s impossible to disregard its effect on modern music – the entirety of the Witch House genre has bastardised it, as well as current experimental artists, such as Micachu, finding it as an influence. The concept behind this album isn’t to use the same techniques as DJ Screw and the southern Hip Hop movement, but to take the essence – the sound and its effect on the listener – and record music that can emulate it. The tracks on this record haven’t been recorded then chopped (this is a live recording), they’ve been composed and played on entirely homemade instruments. It’s a bold move, and one that could quite easily backfire if it wasn’t for Mica Levi’s astonishing prodigal talent. If we ignore the concepts and stories and everything about the music but the sound, it still holds up. This is an experimental album first and foremost, and all the clever bits that Micachu and her pals have included only come in later to boost the record. The atmospheric sounds and the feel to the record is completely unique (as you’d expect from something that’s come from the minds of two of London’s hottest experimental properties) but not indescribable. It’s certainly not chopped and screwed hip hop, though it takes the spooky almost detached feel of the slowed down vocals and sounds and utilises them to great effect. It’s not got the beats or the rapping but it still holds that ethereal detached and slightly disarming feel to it, but adds a more spooky and haunting effect to it and Micachu’s distinctive voice. This isn’t like Jewellery – there’s no up tempo madness on a kids guitar, there’s no hoover or shouting, there’s just the beauty of Micachu’s distinctively accented voice waving over the top of The Shapes and the Sinfonietta’s haunting tones. It’s at once detached but distinctively related from every influence and every piece of its history and creation, and it makes for one fascinating listen. Photobucket