By Pat Gunther
“I think some of the most powerful songs and messages are coming from music that is either instrumental or very minimal. It’s all about interpretation. It’s whatever the person listening to it thinks it is.”
Enigmatic producer of dreamy and intense electronic music, Slow Magic, has been shrouded in mystery since he burst on to the scene with his progressive 2012 debut Triangle, which has garnered much adulation and praise since its release. With a new 10-track record titled How To Run Away that dropped on Sept. 9th and a tour stop at the Spanish Moon on Sept. 19th, Slow Magic has been nothing but busy.
With the release of his follow-up to Triangle, Slow Magic has brought attention to his growing persona, and solidified himself as a primetime player on the popular chill wave electronic scene. Reminiscent of Cashmere Cat, How To Run Away blasts fans ears with dense instrumentation and electrifying synth work that is sure to get your feet moving.
Although the personality is abundantly apparent in his music, Slow Magic’s persona is created by his one of a kind mask, which truly lends to his image of your imaginary friend.
“It wasn’t a character when I first started. It was more of an idea. I wanted the listener to be the judge of what it was exactly, and that’s where the idea of your ‘imaginary friend’ comes in,” he told Vice’s music imprint Noisey in an August 25th interview. “I wanted the music to be from an unknown place but a familiar place. I think it’s slowly been developing, obviously after more shows, into a character. It’s just as much a part of me as it is not me at all.”
Though the man behind the mask incorporates wildly catchy instrumentation into his records, the lack of lyrics contributes even further to the mystery of one of the up-and-coming genre of chillwave electronic’s heavy-hitters.
“I think some of the most powerful songs and messages are coming from music that is either instrumental or very minimal,” he said. “It’s all about interpretation. It’s whatever the person listening to it thinks it is.”
The sparse lyrical content on both of his projects sets the tone for his energetic and one-of-a-kind live performance.
“I have live drums on stage, and that is the main focus of the show,” he said. “I also have a laptop and a drum-pad on the side. I always bring my drum into the crowd even if security might not expect it. I always try to do something crazy to try to surprise people that do think it’s just a DJ set.”
After receiving much critical acclaim for Triangle in 2012, fans of the ghostly Slow Magic have been eagerly anticipating the release of his second record. The album, which was released on Downtown Records, serves as an example of the power of anonymity and limited musical output. Above all though, How To Run Away is an example of the cathartic power music plays in Slow Magic’s existence.
“It’s kind of an autobiographical name, even though the project is so separate from me, for a lot of different reasons,” he said. “Like, chasing the dream of playing music and literally running away from home just to chase that dream. I guess the album is all about being far away from everyone you know but also finding a way of meeting people that are all across the world. There’s a lot of heartbreak and love involved in the travel itself.”
$10 – $12
Doors open at 8:00 p.m.
Since his tour kicked off, Slow Magic has been rocking sets from venue-to-venue every night. Through a pretty hectic schedule, Slow Magic was kind enough to answer a few questions of my own. In the spirit of finding out more about everyone’s favorite musical imaginary friend, DIG caught up with the man behind the mask.
How has the tour been going? What was your favorite show you’ve played thus far?
It has been great! The shows so far have all been great. Last night in phoenix felt like the point in a tour where things start to click into place.
The new album feels a little different from your debut; can you talk a little about how the process for the newest record was compared to Triangle?
Most of the instruments and programs used to make the new album were about the same as ▲. The approach and way my life has changed over the past few years most likely come through as changes from the first album. Traveling a lot has really inspired my music.
When you take the ego and individual out of an act, it seems to put the music at the forefront as opposed to the person making it. Do you think that this is important in music or just art in general?
This is a good explanation of the reason I don’t show my face. It is different for every artist, but enjoy making the music the only thing anyone knows about me.
What inspires you to make the incredibly specific and unique music you make?
Incredibly specific and unique moments in a beautiful world.
What was the first instrument or controller you used to create your own music?
I started teaching myself drums when I was bout 5 years old. Later I started playing around with keyboards and anything else I could find and record to a tape player.
Why the name Slow Magic? What does that name mean to you?
Slow is the process of making music. Magic is the unexplainable force music has on everyone.
Masked musicians have intrigued fans across the world since DOOM and Daft Punk donned their disguises. Where does your mask come from, and why is it fitting for you?
It was designed by the incredible artist Jonas McCluggage. I wanted an imaginary animal to represent an imaginary friend that makes music for everyone.
In anticipation of your next record dropping, what do you hope fans take away from it?
I hope people can be inspired to go out and do something crazy, adventure, and make something.
Why is the title fitting for the record, and did it teach you how to run away?
The title represents the past few years of my life running away from home to chase the dream of playing music. I hope the album can be a soundtrack to someone’s crazy journeys.
What should we expect when you take the stage at the Spanish Moon?
Drums and loud sounds. Hopefully dancing and something unexpected.