Boomkat Product Review:
Mica Levi more or less owned 2014 with the release of that astonishing soundtrack to Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’, followed by this hour long album-cum-mixtape for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint which was released at the end of the year and sold out in a flash. It has now been reworked for this new edition, and then given a full remaster by Matt Colton.
Mica is an artist who basically seems to channel attention deficit into exploring and re-shaping a myriad musical ideas and directions without bound - sometimes all at once. She’s an artist who has by her mid-20’s merged the disciplines of codeine-laced cough syrup-drankin’ early ‘90s Houston HipHop legend DJ Screw, with the rarified sound of London Sinfonietta on her incredible ‘Chopped & Screwed’ album, got Matthew Herbert to produce her brilliant debut ‘Jewellery’ and acquired Bjork as a fan in the process. She’s produced a bunch of killer, off-beat pop tracks for up- and-comer Tirzah and supplied an impromptu 30 minute Boiler Room set that’s still for our money one of the best they’ve ever put up.
And yeah, that’s before that ‘Under The Skin’ soundtrack that showcased another side to her production altogether - all discordant, intense, Ligeti-influenced strings, muffled percussion and frozen drones that came off like a feverishly dreamt collaboration between David Lynch and Nate Young. When asked about the score and working with someone as high profile as Jonathan Glazer she told Pitchfork “He’s a nice bloke—I certainly didn’t think he was a wanker.” - which basically tells you that you ain’t dealing with the ordinary or conventional when it comes to anything Mica Levi is involved with. And this hour-long session is perhaps the best thing we’ve heard from her yet. More or less split into three seamless segments referenced in the title, it journeys out from tense, concrete-fuelled strings to brilliantly ramshackle tape beats and odd pop edits - all brand new work from Mica herself, spooled through her singular, totally inimitable box of tricks.
Honestly, we can’t think of any contemporary artists who have as broad and limitless an ability to continuously re-contextualise the familiar into something we’ve really never heard before. We’d have to go as far back as Prince or Arthur Russell to reference anyone who has really managed to tap into as many diverse musical disciplines with this much originality.
And if you think that’s a bit far fetched - give this a listen and knock yourself out.