Mica Levi

#C2CMLN 2016, Apr 7 – 9

7 April 2016

The second #C2CMLN festival is on in Milan, running in parallel and in collaboration with MiArt fair, running April 7 to 9.

The Club To Club event, that also runs in Torino alongside ARTissima and carries on the notion of bridging the gap between music and contemporary art, is in its second year in the Italian city and performances will happen in novel venues such as Magazzini Generali, BUKA, and Santeria Social Club (SSC).

GFOTY, Arca, Babyfather, M.E.S.H., Lotic and Micachu are some of the highlights playing over the three day programme, ending with a talk and screening the Italian New Wave on April 9.

See the programme below and the Club To Club website for further details:

Thursday 7th April

Magazzini Generali
Aftershow in collaboration with Club NationAnimal Collective – Italian exclusive
Dj Nigga Fox
Dj Marfox
GFOTY – Italian debut exclusive
Mikael Seifu

Friday 8th April

BUKA c/o ex Cinema Aramis / Striptease
In collaboration with MousseArca dj set – Italian debut exclusive
Babyfather – Italian debut

Saturday 9th April

Santeria Social Club
In collaboration with NoiseyDiagonal 5th Birthday Showcase:
Powell – Italian exclusive
Not Waving

Grand RiverTalk and screening: The Italian New Wave (14′, 2016, Noisey Italia)

Babyfather @ Bloc., Apr 7

4 April 2016

Babyfather and ‘special guests’ are performing at London’s Bloc. Autumn Street on April 7.

London-based artist, producer and Hype Williams co-founder Dean Blunt is a known member of the project, which released its debut BBF Hosted by DJ Escrow on Hyperdub on April 2.

The record, which features contributions from Arca and Micachu (aka Mica Levi), is a pastiche of tracks of murky grime and hip hop influenced electronic numbers with titles like ‘Greezebloc’, ‘Esco Freestyle’ and ‘Killuminati’ and a looping vocal sample that declares, “This makes me proud to be British”.

See the Bloc. website for (limited) details.**

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Unthinkable w Renick Bell + Ling February 20 mix

23 February 2016

Produced in partnership with aqnb, this month’s Unthinkable segment for NTS Radio  features contributions from Renick Bell and Ling. The mix, which also includes tracks by Nkisi, Mica Levi, Clara Mondshine, and Carla Bley, is characterized by a liveliness —be it a live performance or in relation to living persons: to continue in existence, operation and memory; to feed or subsist. It resonates with concern for experience, personal encounters, with reference to causes, conditions and effects.

Tokyo-based musician and programmer Renick Bell works with improvisation, algorithmic composition and live coding. It’s what he calls “the interactive control of algorithmic processes through programming activity”, in his ‘Data Visualisation Tools for Enhancing Live Coding Usability and Audience Experience‘ paper, “…by custom projected for an audience to see”.  Bell’s contribution includes an excerpt of Joanne’s London Algorave set and his own Fractal Beats, alongside tracks by Toxe, Sentinel, Rosen, and x/o.

In turn, Liverpool-based producer Ling’s recent Attachment EP deals with habitual mental tendencies, instinctual interpretation of information and internal responses. Here, interaction expands from the immediate setting of a live performance projected for an audience, to a living performance based on one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc., and the act of looking within oneself.

Between the two of them, pragmatism is paramount with an emphasis on practicality — that is, “as a philosophical approach that clearly defines an idea and sees how it works ‘within the stream of experience’ to show how ‘existing realities may be changed’”, writes Renick Bell in his ‘Considering Interaction in Live Coding through a Pragmatic Aesthetic Theory‘. In other words, it follows what Ling calls “the idea that taking an instinctual interpretation of information potentially warps and distorts reality” on the PAN website.

Listen to the mix and read the text below:

Experience —all that is perceived, understood and remembered —permeates the natural world with intensity and an unlimited ability to transform in length, volume or shape. By the arrangement of pathways, newly acquired percepts allow interpretations beyond mere sensation, by way of which significance acquires an embellished energy. These percepts belong to their own reality. In fact, when applied as paths of access, immediate characteristics are no longer separable, and achieve significance that is otherwise controlled by a system of connected elements. With this, they are caused to become in immediate connection with the remaining world. Experience doesn’t regard objective elements, as mountains, trees, animals and rivers, separable from subjective elements of the thinking subject, such as moods and attitudes; rather, it holds them as part of a complex whole. Life itself stands for action or activity, wherein living things and their surroundings are contained. **

Clara Mondshine – Lo and Li
Carla Bley & Paul Hanes – Stay Awake
Golden Living Room – Losing It (For The Princess)
Mica Levi – Love

Ling Mix

Nkisi – Mokonzi

Renick Bell:
Joanne – London Algorave 18.12.16 (excerpt)
Jelena Glazova – Melting Clone
Slub – 20020525 (excerpt)
Alo Allik – 151223_165803
Holger Ballweg – cc13
Calum Gunn – Wiper
Smell in Stereo – Attention Deficit Disorder (part A)
Alo Allik – 151229_045817
Metome – LucyI & Itch Stopping
Renick Bell – Fractal Beats 160116c
Toxe – Let Me Thru
Onion – Dragonfly
Smell in Stereo – Attention Deficit Disorder (part B)
Yearning Kru – Reeds Fledge in Fur
Sentinel – Freak
Renick Bell – Fractal Beats 16011709
Yaporigami – In Love
Yaporigami – Her Hand Tenderly
Rosen – Lliimm
x/o – ???
Zolitude – LOR
Danelaw – The Waever + Big Narstie acapella
Luuma – Below Theia
Swivelized Sounds – Can I See the Peoples
Kindohm – Colder
Calum Gunn- Chordarray
Alo Allik – 151228_203816
Renick Bell with Meuko!Meuko! – As They Are

J.G. Biberkopf’s Unthinkable radio show airs at midnight on a Friday every other month at London’s NTS Radio. This latest one aired February 20, 2016.

See here for more ‘Unthinkable’ mixes.

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Micachu & The Shapes’ ‘Never’ reviewed

23 July 2012

Mica Levi’s career trajectory (if you can call it that) has been all over the place. Following along the winding course from negligent Guild Hall student, to grime-y beat maker and a brief moment as avant pop saviour, the London-based childish prodigy, otherwise known as Micachu, is an unusual artist to say the least. Tumbling from an early career peak in 2009 with the critically acclaimed debut Jewellery, she quickly turned away from the experimental pop trail and onto the variably received live experimentation of Chopped & Screwed release in 2011. From there, there’s been a Southbank residency, Spitalfields Festival curation and reams of self-produced video, remix and mixtape credits to keep us occupied, while keeping relatively silent on the pop front, until now.

With Never, her second album release Proper out on Rough Trade, Micachu and her ‘Shapes’, Marc Pell and Raisa Khan, reconvene to create an album that lives up to the state of creative and emotional limbo a title like Never evokes. With ideas that are nowhere and everywhere at the same time, it goes some way in explaining a track listing of laconic song titles like ‘Nothing’, ‘Nowhere’ and ‘You Know’. Like the latter linguistic filler, there’s a sense of ambivalence towards the world and Micachu’s place within it that pervades all of Levi’s work. From the anti-romance of Jewellery’s ‘Eat Your Heart’, ‘Golden Phone’ and ‘Lips’ to the dead-eyed distraction of ‘Unlucky’, ‘Average’ and ‘Not So Sure’ in Chopped & Screwed, that sense of uncertainty and anxiety reaches fever pitch in Never under a thin veil of reckless abandon.

Levi’s lyrics are now more essential to her work than ever and reveal a growing sentiment of disillusionment best summarised in the call-and-response chorus of ‘OK’.  The manic electronic excursion drips with defensive irony as Levi replies to Khan’s, “Are you sure you’re okay?’ with an unconvincing “’Couldn’t be better’.As always, risen from a sonic scrap heap of unusual and found sounds, Never is a brew of noise, sampling and frenetic rhythms distinct to the Micachu catalogue. It moves beyond an original aesthetic of unhinged compositions bound in organic sounds, while still clinging to a collage of its past. A familiar muted guitar rhythm in ‘Waste’ resembles the killer power pop track ‘Lips’ of Jewellery, while a Hoover sample (abandoned early on in Micachu & the Shapes live sets for fear of being too much of a gimmick) reappears in opening track ‘Easy’. There are even two songs, ‘Fall’ and ‘Low Dogg’, that are downbeat re-imaginings from last year’s Chopped & Screwed track listing. Most surprisingly, that sense of caustic sarcasm surfaces all the way through an album that revisits done-to-death-but-never-like-this excursions into The Beach Boys circa ‘Good Vibrations’ on ‘Holiday’, even The Beatles’ Rubber Soul in the creepy, off-key vocal of ‘OK’.

Coming from an unusual foundation of grime, garage and classical music that missed the rock revival boat of the early millennium, Micachu offers a unique perspective on indie rock. A melancholy awareness of her own ambivalence is best described in the undeniably infectious chorus of Micachu & the Shapes most self-realised pop song yet, ‘Nothing’ where words like, “take your pity and sympathy ‘cause there is nothing wrong with me”, reveal the ever-present sense of sadness and dry wit driven from a source that is equal parts dejected and endlessly creative.

Micachu & the Shapes’ Never  is out on Rough Trade July 23rd, 2012.

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