Slow Magic gains ‘new sense of freedom’ after label fallout with ‘Dreams, Pt. 1’ EP [Q+A/Stream]

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Slow Magic gains ‘new sense of freedom’ after label fallout with ‘Dreams, Pt. 1’ EP [Q+A/Stream]Slow Magic

For years, Slow Magic has been one of the most pervasive faces, metaphorically speaking (he dons a vibrant, electroluminescent mask), in the cerebral electronica domain. With three LPs, each laden with complexity and each more accessible than its predecessor, and some of the most eminent festival bookings on the US event menu (Coachella, Electric Forest) under his belt, the producer has won over a voracious following with his quixotic strain of chilled-out, head-in-the-clouds electronic.

But there’s been a recent lull in his release log, until now. Dreams, Pt. 1 is Slow Magic’s first multi-track project to hit the streaming circuits in over a year, due to a tumultuous state of affairs with former label, Downtown Records, which he says stemmed from the imprint’s acquisition deal with mammoth recording conglomerate, Interscope/Universal. The reverie-riddled EP came to fruition, he tells Dancing Astronaut, with the help of new management partners, Milk & Honey.

The two-track Dreams, Pt. 1, the first of a three-part EP series, is a fiercely fun display of the producer’s pop-oriented bravura. Listeners hear him venture further into vocal-driven soundscapes (his first two LPs were almost entirely instrumental), with a syrupy feature from Julianne Hope on the equally effervescent and plucky “Daydream.” But make no mistake: atmospheric allure is still a fixture in Slow Magic’s sound design. Vapory synths swirl and surround the EP’s second offering, “when it rains but the sun is out too,” abetted by drawn-out, pitch-switching guitar licks. The track title’s juxtaposing nature is very much an extension of its inspiration, too.

The EP exudes both a reclaimed creative liberation and altogether newfound state of grace for the enigmatic artist. Aside from leaving Downtown Recs. in his rear view, Slow Magic got married last year, which he says was a resounding catalyst for the exceedingly sunny disposition of the new project. Dancing Astronaut had a chance to catch up with the Dreams purveyor to find out what he was striving for stylistically, some insight into his label discord, and what’s up next for the EP series.

1. Describe the atmosphere you were trying to set for this EP…

‘Dreams’ is world that is reminiscent of having a dream and the feelings associated with that. The feeling between being awake and being asleep. ‘Dreams’ also represents aspirations and lofty goals that we all strive for. My wife, Dream Angel, and I came up with the concept as a space to explore surreal visual and sonic ideas.

2. Can you provide a bit of context as to the situation stifling your ability to release recently?

Up until recently, I had been trapped in a label deal that had nearly ruined my career. The indie label I had signed to was bought out by one of the largest corporate entities in music. Also, my manager at the time had left (for unrelated personal reasons). The label wanted to control more than we had initially discussed back when I signed with them. I felt I was being strung along until they could figure out what they were doing or until I had a radio hit. I was able to break free from that situation. I found new management with Milk & Honey and started to pick up the pieces. ‘Dreams Pt. I’ comes out with a new sense of freedom I haven’t had for a while.

3. What other turning points in your life ushered inspiration for the project? 

The past few years have been [exciting] and filled with a lot of big changes. Most important of them all was marrying the love of my life, Dream Angel. I’d say she is a big inspiration for creating new music.

4. What can we expect from Pt. 2, assuming from the title that a follow up is on the horizon?

Dreams will be a three-part series (6 songs total) that will release from now to the end of the year, so look forward to more music coming out consistently and other surprises along the way.

Photo Credit: Kirby Gladstein

Lunar Lunes: Kill The Noise and Mija bring ‘Salvation,’ The Bloody Beetroots and Ephwurd team up + more

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Lunar Lunes: Kill The Noise and Mija bring ‘Salvation,’ The Bloody Beetroots and Ephwurd team up + moreBloody Beetroots Ephwurd

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

Kill The Noise and Mija jump-start this post-EDC Monday with a formidable new collaboration, “Salvation,” and The Bloody Beetroots and Ephwurd deliver a powerful electro number in “Wildchild” from The Bloody Beetroots’ forthcoming Heavy EP. Honey & Badger and kramder return to Tchami’s CONFESSION for a groovy new track, “Da Pinte,” and Just a Gent makes “First Contact” in his new single. Wuki and Ship Wrek take on Daft Punk’s iconic “Technologic” in a new “Wukileak,” and Shaun Frank teams up with Lexy Panterra for “Where Do You Go.” Dombresky remixes LSD’s “No New Friends,” and the Nervo sisters are “Sober” in their new single. Summer Was Fun brings a fun summertime atmosphere in his new track, “Frozen in Time,” and BLEEP BLOOP flips Vince Staples’ “GTFOMD.” Joris Voorn delivers a radio edit of “RYO,” and Slow Magic takes on hit song “Old Town Road.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

NMF Roundup: FISHER delivers new single, Gareth Emery & Ashley Wallbridge unveil LP, Whethan links with Jeremih + more

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NMF Roundup: FISHER delivers new single, Gareth Emery & Ashley Wallbridge unveil LP, Whethan links with Jeremih + moreFisher Photo Credit NAFT Photography For Insomniac

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

This week brings with it the arrival of a fiery new FISHER single—one fans have been eagerly anticipating—along with the next track from Avicii‘s posthumous album, TIM, called “Tough Love.” Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge have delivered a 14-track LP called Kingdom United, featuring euphoric trance numbers like “Vesper.” Whethan‘s tapped Jeremih for his new single, “Let me Take You,” and Alpha 9 and Kameron Alexander arrive at Anjunabeats “Before The Dawn.” Boombox Cartel and MadeinTYO create a trappy party atmosphere in “NEW WIP,” and Habstrakt keeps the bass slapping in “Control.” Kill Paris once again uses plants to create music in “Venus Fly Trap,” and RL Grime unveils instrumental versions of his NOVA tracks, including “Shoulda.” Gorgon City and Kaskade lead us into the weekend with “Go Slow,” and Hannah Wants unleashes a retro house number with “Love Somebody.” Ellie Goulding taps Don Diablo for a remix of “Sixteen,” and Kölsch takes on Jam & Spoon’s “Stella.” David Guetta and RAYE join forces on “Stay (Don’t Go Away),” and Medasin crafts a breezy piece with Kathleen, “Always Afternoon.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: NAFT Photography for Insomniac

Slow Magic attaches his atmospheric allure to Manila Killa’s ‘Wake Up Call’

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Slow Magic attaches his atmospheric allure to Manila Killa’s ‘Wake Up Call’Slow Magic

Masked man of cosmic creations, Slow Magic has taken on a fan-favorite from Manila Killa‘s recent 1993 album, “Wake Up Call.”

Slow Magic’s vapory, chilled-out remix stands as an organic complement to the original’s subtle, thumping electronica. Both producers are more than adept in the tricky art of creating cerebral soundscapes which compel their consumers to listen as opposed to simply hear or move to—danceable, but not authoritatively so. Slow Magic’s take plays with vocal pitch, creating a rippling effect that emulates the track’s pensive, echoing keys. Where Manila Killa’s initial offering showcases a sobering groove, Slow Magic’s is one of escapism: a palliative proposition to drift inside a soft blue dream.

Slow Magic is currently on tour across the US. The full list of dates can be found here.


Remix package for Instupendo’s ‘Faces I Know’ arrives

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Remix package for Instupendo’s ‘Faces I Know’ arrivesInstupendo Faces I Know Remied Cover Art

From his humble beginnings as a viral star rising out of SoundCloud, Instupendo is in the midst of a banner 2018. The soon-to-be NYC-based producer debuted his second EP, Faces I Know, followed shortly after by a visual accompaniment, and parlayed a remix of Rostam‘s “Half-Light” into a supporting slot at Brooklyn Steel.

Instupendo is now up for the remix treatment himself, as Slow Magic, Owsey, and Laxcity take on the Faces I Know‘s “Fleur,” “Boy,” and “Clementine,” respectively.

Slow Magic turns the energy up a few notches on ” Fleur” with undulating synths and crisp percussion fills, while the track remains steeped in Instupendo’s trademark haze. Owsey’s take on “Boy” veers more sharply into different direction, adding vocal chops for new melodic lines, and capacious synths and drums that almost make the remix a guarantee to be played at big festival spots under an icosahedron.

Finally, Laxcity flips “Clementine” entirely, at times a stuttering, fluttering track bound by the original’s arpeggios before smoothing out a spacey atmospheric exploration anchored by a rumbling low end.

It’s a testament to Instupendo’s originals and their sound songwriting that each can be flipped in entirely different directions, and similarly that the remixers themselves took such disparate routes to produce new takes that pay homage to the originals and yet remain wholly their own.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 49

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 49Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Since its release in fall 2017, Slow Magic‘s “Wildfire” has received numerous remixes. The Float track has been flipped by the likes of Mielo, NΣΣT, and more — including the latest, from Airynore. This new rendition of “Wildfire” comes as a light, breezy song, highlighting the powerful, emotive vocals. Though the majority of the song lacks a percussion backbone, it’s illuminated by warm synths and intriguing piano melodies, making it calming and relaxing.

Monstercat mainstay Rogue has kept fans waiting since last fall for his next release — but it was worth the wait. His first release of 2018 on the Canadian label is “Mirage,” a melody-centric future bass track. The UK artist has been thrilling label listeners worldwide with his versatile production skills since 2012’s release with Tristam, “Pushed Away.” On “Mirage,” we see Rogue in his finest form: lending his own vocals over top of an irresistibly groovy synth melody.

I have Costa Rica’s Envision Festival to thank for my love and respect of Slynk. The gifted Australian producer flaunts insane mixing skills in his performances, and his original tracks are equally impressive. His latest comes from the 2018 Fractal Forest compilation and is called “Scrunched Up Faces.” This Westwood Recordings release radiates good vibes from start to finish, layered with funky guitar licks, lively flute melodies, and a substantial amount of bass along the way,

Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” has been remixed, covered, and redone in nearly every way imaginable. Nearly 50 years after the original’s release, artists are still drawn to its melancholy lyrics and haunting melody. Lido did a thrilling remix in 2014, and Jenaux adds his name to the list in a new cover with Andy Cooper. Jenaux’s mellow take on the iconic track is a minimalist approach, with Cooper’s vocals at center stage, backed by subtle guitar and wavy bass.

Few songs of late have matched the sheer eeriness of WAVEDASH and QUEST‘s “Devil Music.” The title track off the duo’s recent Mad Zoo EP features creepy vocals and unhealthy doses of bass, and has been remixed by label founder Mat Zo himself, along with  label mate Shadient. Shadient doesn’t stray from the sinister atmosphere of the original, using the dramatic intro as a launchpad for his own rendition. He slows the track down considerably, honing in on hefty bass and letting it truly seep into his listeners’ ears.

Slow Magic – Wildfire (Mielo Remix)

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Slow Magic’s smoldering single, “Wildfire” has earned a rework from Chicago native, Mielo.

Mielo’s take on the Slow Magic production is an anthemic expedition of the future bass meets electro-pop constructions classic of Mielo’s catalogue. His rendition of “Wildfire” maintains the original’s powerful vocal as the song’s centerpiece, but deviates from the downtempo descent that defines Slow Magic’s approach. Mielo’s revamp is a lush soundscape that localizes its sweeter spots in its addition of staggered, punchy pops of percussion and exhilarating synth work — alterations that allow Mielo’s remix to stand apart from the original, to exude its own distinct musical personality.

Kasbo – Snow In Gothenburg

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Since his breakout with “World Away“—released in 2015 on ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective—Swedish producer Kasbo has made quick work of developing a distinct sound. He’s since remixed artists from Big Gigantic to Vance Joy and spent time touring with the likes ofOdesza, San Holo, and Slow Magic. The producer’s spring touring schedule is still being fleshed out, but he has already been announced to play Hangout Festival and two weekends at Electric Forest.

On his newest single, “Snow In Gothenburg,” Kasbo showcases his artistically sensitive shadow, one that has lurked in the melodies of his tracks for years now. Drawing on influences in melancholic house, the song is an interpersonal journey full of atmospheric synths and waning vocals.

“The song itself is about loneliness and isolation, and the freedom of coming to terms with those feelings” says Kasbo of the track.  “Seeing the beauty of realizing that everyone has their own ways to go in life and that not everyone is supposed to have someone.”

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Slow Magic – Mind ft Kate Boy (Celadon City Remix)

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Nearly two months after the release of his third studio album, Float, Slow Magic has begun to unleash a set of remixes for the collection of music.

Over the past few weeks, he’s posted two remixes of “Light” by Omniboi and Qrion, along with his own “sunset edit” of “Belong 2 Me.” On Nov. 26, he followed these up with a remix from Celadon City of “Mind.”

“Mind,” which had been released in May as a single, has a pop feel to it, bolstered by vocals from Kate Boy that are both dreamy and raw. For his remix of the track, Oklahoma City producer Celadon City introduces his sound with a gentle, ethereal introduction. Ushered in with Slow Magic’s signature drums, Celadon City strips the track down with a series of emotive breaks and hones in on Kate Boy’s vocals for a more minimalist take on the track.

“I’ve been a big fan of Celadon City’s beautiful music for a while and was very happy to ask him to make a remix for Float,” Slow Magic said in a recent tweet.

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Slow Magic shares new single, announces world tour

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Fresh off his forthcoming album, Float, out Oct. 6 on Downtown/Interscope, enigmatic producer Slow Magic has shared a new single, “Drum.” The unique beat-maker has steadily gained global recognition from artists like ODESZA for his witch doctor aesthetic and mesmerizing live production, of which the man behind the multi-colored animal mask says, “I always play drums live along with the songs, but Float is my first time recording live drums directly.”

But the witch doctor aesthetic is no easy feat. When Slow Magic takes the stage, he brings all the energy of a wild, untamed beast with expert producing skills over an energetic — even aggressive, at times — live animalistic persona. “Drum” follows previously released singles “Mind” featuring Kate Boy and “Light” featuring Tropics, both of which are sampled in the track — along with every single other song from Float. The result is a simplistic, charming track that highlights the drums over any other instrument. With quickly rising synths, the song is built for the beginning of his live shows, in what is sure to take listeners along for Slow Magic’s sonic rollercoaster ride of energy and raw emotion. The young up-and-comer says this of the track,

“I decided to keep it simple, just two toms and one cymbal. I wanted to capture the simplicity and limitation of using only a couple of drums…I wanted to make a song that reminded people of their animal instinct.”

Slow Magic has already embarked on his world tour in support of the new Float LP. There will be a completely revamped live show with a ton of new music off the album. A full list of dates is below.

Slow Magic Tour Dates:
9/19 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Sugar Factory [tix]
9/20 – Brussels, Belgium @ Beursschouwburg [tix]
9/21 – Liege, Belgium @ Reflektor [tix]
9/23 – London, UK @ Oslo [tix]
9/24 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Lille Vega [tix]
9/27 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser [tix]
9/28 – Berlin, Germany @ Gretchen [tix]
9/29 – Barcelona, Spain @ Razzmatazz [tix]
9/30 – Madrid, Spain @ Costello Club [tix]
10/25 – Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room [tix]
10/26 – Dallas, TX @ Trees [tix]
10/27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall [tix]
10/28 – New Orleans, LA @ Varsity Theatre [tix]
10/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell Stage) [tix]
11/2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero [tix]
11/3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere [tix]
11/4 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall [tix]
11/5 – Boston, MA @ Royale [tix]
11/8 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount [tix]
11/9 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern [tix]
11/10 – Detroit, MI @ The Magic Stick [tix]
11/11 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Stache [tix]
11/12 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club [tix]
11/15 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge [tix]
11/16 – Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar [tix]
11/17 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre [tix]
11/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall [tix]
11/30 –Vancouver, BC @ Venue [tix]
12/1 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox [tix]
12/2 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom [tix]
12/3 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall [tix]
12/6 – Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre [tix]
12/7 – San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theatre [tix]
12/8 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park [tix]
12/9 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory [tix]
12/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo [tix]

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