Micachu and the Shapes
London art-school sound-collagists Micachu and the Shapes will be the opening act for Animal Collective in the fall. It’s a pretty perfect match, as the band’s newest release of pointillistic junk-assemblage electronic clang jams makes clear. This is a band that takes glitches, digital skips, fragmented scraps and turns their repetition into groundwork patterns and grooves. It’s not all inhuman machine music because the vocal melodies have a kind of woozy mad-hatter quality, as if Syd Barrett had been given a digital sampler and a bunch of tinny video-game, power tools, and toy sounds to work with. The vocal lines coil around the music like a weed vine winding its way around a rusty hulk of scrap. Gaps open up in this music, high-contrast sonic patches of silence between the blasts of abrasive noise. After the Micachu crew dispense with the purifying eruptions of sound assault they shift into a kind of regular-old song mode, with more recognizable things like backbeats, choruses and hooky bits popping out amongst the clutter. Sometimes, like on “Nothing,” it sounds like a 50s pop song that’s been sand-blasted and then melted in a furnace, but still barely recognizable.
CD of the Week: Micachu and the Shapes, 'Never'
Never (July 17, 2012)