Self-described as “music made by your imaginary friend,” Slow Magic’s cosmic electronic music and ambient vibes first came onto the music scene in 2012 when he debuted his first album, Triangle. After the release, he started to tour, going on trips with artists such as Gold Panda, XXYYXX, and Giraffage.
This past September Slow Magic released his second LP, How To Run Away, and has been touring since its release. This time he is headlining the tour, bringing Kodak to Graph and Daktyl along with him. On top of his full-length albums, he has remixed a number of other artists, including Bon Iver, Delorean, Sattellite Stories, and most recently ODESZA (this new remix even features samples of his dad playing guitar).
Last Wednesday we were lucky enough to catch Slow Magic’s show at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. The evening started off with Daktyl and Kodak to Graph opening. They set the stage well for the main event, keeping everyone entertained yet still eager to hear and see Slow Magic.
Then to everyone’s delight, the mask appeared, and we were off. Right away we heard tracks like “Still Life", “Waited 4 U”, and “Girls”. The first started with a soft, melodic build and then reached its point of euphoria and release. On “Waited 4 U”, Slow Magic really amped up the crowd by showcasing his skills on the drums. And third came the crowd favorite “Girls”. If someone wasn’t completely invested into the show before, now they were.
The show never slowed or settled from there on out. He performed other favorites such as his remixes of “Brazil” (Gold Panda), “Even though” (Giraffage and XXYYXX), and even a remix from the Hood Internet that put Slow Magic’s “On Yr Side” and Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” together. This track seemed to be a wonderful surprise to much of the crowd.
The show was unique and original, and is something very hard to find in the live electronic music scene. For a lot of artists, once they have set up their track on the beat pads or midi controller, their job is done and they just dance along with the crowd. Not here. Slow Magic turns to his drum kit (which is two real drums) and creates a show you won’t see anywhere else. The drums also add another layer to his songs, so it’s not just his recorded tracks played in a music venue. As the show came towards the end he invited some of the crowd onto the stage and even took a drum into the crowd to play while everyone was around him. This made it feel like he was one of us, someone to relate to and share the experience with.
And to stick with the unique trend, Slow Magic is completely anonymous. We don’t know what he looks like, what his voice sounds like, where he lives, or really anything. A few other artists have tried to take this approach, but in most cases (like Deadmau5) we know who they are and what they really look like. But not Slow Magic, and that adds to the show. It’s not about who is behind the laptop or drum set. It doesn’t matter if this is his hometown. All that matters is the music and the performance we are all witnessing. It makes him more relatable in a way. He doesn’t seem that he is above or better than any of us. It is just our new imaginary friend playing some wonderfully produced music and turning it into one heck of a show.
By Ben Lowden