In a striking stylistic return to their avant-pop roots Ruff Dog sees Mica Levi embracing the immediacy of lo-fi pop, without sacrificing the meticulous detail consistent throughout their esoteric career.
This is Levi’s first proper solo release, but in typically irreverent fashion, they nimbly eschew the prerequisite amount of intimacy by playing fast and loose with distorting textural qualities; distantly echoing vocals, scorched guitar distortion, and a warm blanket of tape hiss.
The sonic ethos is at its most evocative on Wings, sounding like a cut from an early My Bloody Valentine session.
Even with this much inscrutability, Ruff Dog succeeds in feeling like a deeply personal record granting the listener a glimpse into Levi’s world.
A strange, affecting solo debut...
The thing that remains after listening to ‘Ruff Dog’ is how catchy it all is. Despite the layers of filmy grime over all the songs the captivating melodies still force their way through. It also makes me want to spend the rest of the day immersed in Levi’s prodigious output. Which is kind of strange, but also totally expected when confronted with an album of this kind from a mesmerising artist.
Producer and film composer Mica Levi’s solo debut operates in two modes: blown-out grunge and soporific dream pop, married by a thick layer of fuzz.
1. Ruff Dog
2. Kind Of Strange
4. One Tear
5. Cold Eyes
6. Flower Bed
1. A plain clothed Jimi Hendrix drives me to Newcastle. For some reason the trip will take 3 days and he is going to do it for £150. He drives really smoothly and only listens to one album which is by someone with Joy in their name. Joy’s music is covers of classic rock songs but with all the edge smoothed off. We arrive in Brazil and I impress someone because I say obrigado. The same person asks me to find them an intern. I don’t think I can but I try. I am nervous in the girls changing room and play trap songs loud off my phone.
2. Chains Baggy
3. Hi Gene
5. Ride Til We Die