Mica Levi - Delete Beach 2x10"
Label: Demdike Stare
Mica Levi presents her latest, stunning soundtrack, this time to the Phil Collins-directed anime short Delete Beach (2016), on Demdike Stare. Following on from the maverick pop auteur and film composer's European Film Award-winning score to Under The Skin (2013), and her Jackiesoundtrack (2016), this is Mica's first musical accompaniment for animation, by revered designer Marisuke Eguchi, animated by STUDIO4ºC. Delete Beach is a sci-fi anime set in a near future where carbon-based energy is outlawed. The film supposes a paradoxical scenario, one where fossil fuels – the ostensible accelerator of humanity's progress and decline – become energy for the toil against state oppression and enforced inequality. In doing so, it resonates with anime's strong tradition of exploring eco-feminist themes and power dynamics, both socio-political and technological. Using a signature palette of dissonant strings and combustible electronics laced with skeletal percussive treatments, Levi paints a series of sweeping backdrops to the short's blend of classically-schooled anime and up-to-the-second CGI designs. The central Delete Beach theme, a diaphanous section of airborne synth-string contours and charred guitar distortion carved in pirouetting turns-of-phrase, appears in Japanese and English narrated versions and an Instrumental mix. They are divided by the beat-driven "Interlude 1" and "Interlude 2" parts, recalling a mix of string slashes mixed with opiated chopped 'n screwed rhythms comparable to Micachu & The Shapes deconstructions of London Sinfonietta. After her work underlying and exploring complex characters in Jackie, a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the alien-woman metaphors of Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin, her Delete Beach soundtrack follows suit with a tense, viscerally affective sound that reflects and conveys a sense of independence in the face of uncertainty, of a struggle against imposed forces or control systems. It's another beguiling testament to Levi's role as one of the most original and eminent composers of her generation.