- Mica Levi has an eclectic resume. She's made stripped-back, circuit-bent pop with her trio Micachu And The Shapes, composed classical works for string ensembles, and scored Jonathan Glazer's unnerving sci-fi film, Under The Skin. That interdisciplinary experience means she's full of fresh ideas, which is certainly true of Taz And May Vids, Levi's seven-track EP for Demdike Stare's DDS label. With this dance floor-oriented music, it's apparent that she thinks beyond standard routines of programming drums, synths and sequencers. Her holistic approach pulls from outside genre confines, and it makes for a refreshing EP.
"Go," featuring singer and frequent collaborator Tirzah, is the standout. The charm of this tilted 2-stepper is Levi's controlled chaos: her bruised drums lag, skip and smash like they're about to fall apart. The melody darts frantically up and down the scale, while the low-register synths shake and sweat like they're overheating. Similarly, "Dare You" is a lovely mess held together by savvy, intricate programming. With such short run times (just under three and two minutes), the only downside is those tracks aren't longer. Thankfully, Demdike Stare's edit extends "Dare You"'s twisted garage groove by three minutes, and they make the wise decision not to add or subtract much from the original.
Then things get progressively weirder. "Chimes 7!" is built around an abused guitar riff that loops ominously over dissonant piano and a chintzy rock beat. "Trip6love" is unhinged: a single measure spins until you start to feel seasick, while Tirzah's voice unfurls into freeform noodling. These two and "More Red," which has patois-inflected verses from Brother May, lend personality to Taz And May Vids, but don't fit the initial tone. "Go" and "Dare You" are great because they're feral and functional at the same time, two untamed party tracks for the freaks. But these other three feel like filler—not sharp enough for the dance floor, not deep enough to dive into.
A2 Go feat. Tirzah
A3 Dare You feat. Tirzah
A4 Chimes 7!
B1 Trip6Love feat. Tirzah
B2 More Red feat. Brother May
B3 I Dare You (Demdike Stare Edit)