Every year, at least one notable collaboration criminally and quietly passes under the radar, beckoning discovery at a later date. Mica Levi and Oliver Coates have sired such a collaboration.
With Mica fresh from soundtracking ‘Jackie’, the cinematic retelling of Jacqueline Kennedy’s story, and Oliver’s cello work on Radiohead’s newest fresh in our memories, the distinctive and recent reference points circulating these musicians has amounted to a predictably diverse and engulfing listening experience.
Drawing from experimental dance and classical music, ‘Remain Calm’ doesn’t patchwork these influences together; it traces their lineages and pipettes flavours into the music cohesively creating an ambient album that unsettles as much as it comforts.
There’s a sparse mysticism that courses through the veins of the record. Coates’ cello work on ‘Pre-Barok’, for example, resonates warmly then abrasively cuts to simulate the feeling of the floor crumbling beneath your feet.
The collection of often weird and perplexing compositions on ‘Remain Calm’ are totally vocal-less allowing you to inject your own presence between the silences. ‘Dolphins Climb Onto The Shore For The First Time’, for example, echoes the spiritual electricity and cavernous anxiety of Flying Lotus. This whole album pulses with the emotivity of a cybernetic rainforest.
Words: Will Butler
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