Micachu – Jewellery
A cracker of an LP, and a genuine reason to be cheerful. Micachu’s strange, impish pop hits the right balance between the visceral and the ethereal. Pop needs stuff that’s atonal and not quite right. There are hooks aplenty and interesting sounds and percussive “rivulets” that are very reminiscent of Krautmeisters Can or Cluster.
Opener Vulture doesn’t half remind me of Stereolab at times, but then disappears towards a toy town style refrain totally at odds with the mid-tempo groove that previously underpinned the track. In fact, the whole LP’s got the same weird, chop-and-change brilliance of The Modern Dance or Movies. Or early Bow Wow Wow, or Talking Heads for that matter. Truly great.
For those wanting order and some peace of mind, most songs are pretty short. Sweetheart weighs in at 50 seconds for example. There is a scruffy charm about the whole thing, and despite the dissonance and playing around with found sounds, everything holds together remarkably well. At times they get close to the inspired lunacy of the Faust Tapes (maybe it's that demented yodelling vocal on Eat Your Heart that reminds me of the opening bit on the Faust Tapes, who knows? It’s still fab).
Elsewhere, Curly Teeth is a demented slobby dance number that sounds like a bunch of elves covering the Happy Mondays and Golden Phone starts life as a lo-key, despoiled cha cha until a chorus that bursts out of nowhere and takes it into bubblegum territory. But it’s still pop for all the demented instrumentation as Just in Case & Calculator show.
I don’t think you can ignore this record.
Words: Richard Foster