Mica Levi/Coby Sey/Curl appreciation thread


I don’t think I’m alone in thinking Mica Levi is making some of the most innovative (or at least most "now) music out there. Between her minimal, grime influenced productions and soundtrack work (Under the Skin, Jackie), she seems to be one of the few people out there mixing mediums to make something truly forward facing while also staying approachable and tied to relative pop conventions (especially considering her production for Tirzah).

However, her frequent collaborator Coby Sey doesn’t seem to get nearly as much love. His Whities EP is one of the most unique things I’ve heard in a hot minute, falling somewhere (to my ears) between dub, minimal dance, the ethereal post rock of Disco Inferno, and some skewed futurist take on post-punk.

Anyone else out here in 555 land love Coby as much as me? Also, anyone have any further listening in the same ballpark as Mica Levi/Coby Sey?


i’m a rabid mica fan, will need to check out that coby sey ep again. i love tirzah and the track that came out of the collaboration with mount kimbie, she seems to be operating in all of the right areas. she has a soundtrack for a new film called “Monos” which premiered at sundance earlier this year, can’t wait. without a doubt, that sublime under the skin soundtrack provided a wonderful boost for her music career.


as for similar music, perhaps oliver coates latest album (who mica has also collab’d with):

it’s got a bit of that ‘rough around the edges’ feel


i like this


Wow, surprised I’ve never peeped this Oliver Coates before. Gunna cue this up for my commute tomorrow. Didn’t Coates also do something with Dean Blunt if I’m not mistaken?

Speaking of Coby though, I’d also reccomend diving into his NTS show. Really solid and diverse, you can expect anything from Prince to Durutti Column.


thanks for posting, was not aware of this collaboration, has an OG tricky vibe to it, nice, always missing music like this, experimental Grime, rap…


Big fan of Mica Levi since the first Micachu & the Shapes album (all are great). She’s one of those ppl who is so singular that I used to be very annoyed there wasn’t more stuff released. The Curl stuff hasn’t really grabbed my interest and I’ve lost a lot of motivation in terms of looking for music so I’ve not kept up with it, but I do know about some stuff from a few years ago which may be of use.

I’ve wanted to hear a studio version of the song at 10 mins here for years and years.

The Michachu & the Shapes live show is one of the best I’ve seen, often quite different to the studio tracks. I think I saw them at XOYO (maybe around the time of Never) and they were all v slow versions but v weighty.

I’ve wanted to hear full / DJable versions of the grimey tracky things she has put in DJ sets and so on for a long time as well but am now resigned to the fact that that probably won’t happen (there have been a couple of bits that have come out on DDS (the release was called Taz & May Vids or something iirc) but that barely scratches the surface).

Mixtapes and DJ sets seem to be the next best thing. The ones I remember being particularly good were the 2 Kwesachu mixtapes, the Chopped & Screwed mixtape with Brotha May (tracky reworks of the Chopped & Screwed album with MCing), the Micachu vs Kwake Bass mixtape and the Boiler Room set. Those may not be the real names of them but I’d imagine most will be findable somewhere or on youtube. All v worth looking up.


The Tricky comparison is actually pretty on the money, especially his Nearly God/Pre Millenium Tension phase.


That’s absolutely sick that you saw her on the Never tour, such a solid record.

If you frequent Soulseek then you may be be able to find Mica’s Filthy Friends mixtape, which launched her career before she made a name with the Shapes. Its 85% grimey/bass-y tracks featuring a lot of future usual suspects, such as Brother May. Lots of pure gold on there. The version I have even has separated tracks as opposed to one big mixfile.

Edit: Brother May actually doesn’t appear on Filthy Friends, but it does feature Ghost Poet and Kwes (Kwes it turns out is actually Coby Sey’s brother. Who woulda thunk it.)


yaas stuff with Brother May is wicked, just found this as well:

anybody know where to get this mixtape?




saw Monos at MIFF. Mica on soundtrack duty. movie overall wasn’t entirely my cuppa but man… Mica can do no wrong. some of those scenes gave me the full body/sound experience i had like when i saw Dunkirk.

Modern classical / experimental / "powerful" music?

I put the mixtape on youtube as well seeing as it doesn’t really seem widely available to random people which I thought was a shame.


Loved Monos! Really enjoyed the Jackie soundtrack as well which I sort of half watched recently. I’m going to listen a bit more to some of the classical stuff I think as I’ve been listening to Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill a bit more and that side of things is piquing my interest. Curl bandcamp has a £1 musical score from her as well, which I bought out of curiosity, but I don’t really understand musical notes so I’m going to have to do a bit of research before I can figure out how that would work.

There are a few new things out - Blue Alibi and Ruff Dog are solo albums, Good Sad Happy Bad did a new album as well (new name for Micachu & The Shapes, but they have a new member who I think is Curl affiliated? and Raisa Khan does the vocals mostly now).

There was also a rarities EP from her and Brother May which I completely missed until for some reason I found it through a google images search? Idk.

Looks like some of it might be from that Chopped & Screwed Mixtape. I’m waiting on my copy now.


Original 2014 cassette version of Feeling Romantic Feeling Tropical Feeling Ill - different to the 2015 version. The difference seems to be that in this version there’s a delay on the whole album. I prefer these versions, perhaps because this is the way I first heard it. You don’t seem to be able to buy this version any more unfortunately.


That’s interesting, I didn’t know there were multiple versions. I actually own the vinyl edition (same cover as the image above). Would that be a different mix than the tape edition? It’s a pretty hazy recording to begin with but I don’t remember if I noticed delay slapped over the entire mix.


I was going to say that the only version with this mix is the original cassette release - but the version I know well is the MP3 version that was bundled with the original cassette, as I only listened to the cassette once when I first got it and then got to know the MP3 version well later. So I wondered if the cassette version was actually a version without the delay like in later versions, and went to check.

Turns out that unlike the post-2015 versions it does have a delay on it - but it’s set at different speeds to the digital version I’m familiar with! It seems to be set faster? But I haven’t done a close comparison so it might be set differently for every track. So it looks like it’s a different version again.

I was going to say that the vinyl reissue and all subsequent tape issues and digital versions are the reworked version without the delay I believe. But actually I have no idea about the later physical versions! All I really know is the digital version you can get now seems to have no delay on it at all.

This is one of the reasons I wanted to post it up - there doesn’t seem to be any discussion I can find about the fact that the mixes are all different, or why that is. It’s intriguing. Maybe it’s making a point that releases used to be viewed as static objects, and that is now being eroded / superseded (I’ve heard Kanye West puts out updated mixes of some of his albums, like a “patch” for a videogame or something). Maybe there’s no deeper reason and it’s just artistic whim.

I’ve seen things like this before from Micachu - I have a version of I’m Not Dancing by Tirzah that was released, then pulled, then a slightly different mix released. (I’ve seen it put online but it was pulled down for copyright). But this scale is quite different - it’s a mixtape rather than a song, and the differences are more significant. I’ve never heard of a release where an MP3 version was different from the physical release it was bundled with before.


Here’s the 2014 cassette version.


A good thing that there’s a Mica Levi and friends thread. I didn’t know her until I saw Jackie in a theater and I was blown away by the music. Especially the main theme going in before any picture, almost taking you by surprise. Jackie is one of my favorite movies of these past few years and I’d say 70% of that is thanks to Mica.

I saw that she worked on another movie ‘Zola’ in 2020 which I missed or wasn’t released here due to covid. I need to see Monos too !


Hell yeah ! Yeah her soundtrack work is incredible and I think it’s definitely given her a whole new audience to fall in love with other aspects of her work. I saw Zola when it came out and the soundtrack definitely delivers, much more in line with her beat oriented work though which (I think) is a bit of a first for her in terms of her movie scoring.

Funnily enough I actually got into her work from the opposite side of the spectrum after hearing about Micachu and the Shapes during the early 00s era of “big” indie music. I was super into post-punk when I first heard of them and for some reason I expected something a bit more generic/flavor of the month like (let’s be honest) the majority of the bands from that era. But when I heard “Jewelry” I was totally blown away and it felt very in line with other shit I was into like the Raincoats etc.

Fast forward a bit and I see “Under the Skin”, only later realizing that she did the score and thus getting into all of her other orchestral stuff. Honestly, she is one of the few contemporary artists I look forward to everything they’re involved in.