Slow Magic’s debut EP, ▲, has been one of the most refreshing experiences in electronic music in the past few years. Can his debut album, How to Run Away, similarly impress?
Slow Magic has yet to reveal his identity, saying that he would rather focus on the music and art than person and location (we’d throw our bet in with California). The anonymity certainly has tantalized many media outlets, but he’s correct that too much of modern music is about celebrity and personality instead of the art itself. The title of the album is perhaps even a commentary to the extreme focus cast upon those who find commercial success and the desire for a simpler life. Although Slow Magic is (presumably) still a small fish in the pond, he seems very intent to not buy into the industry’s glitz and glam.
Meanwhile, How to Run Away is sure to pick up some new fans. Across ten tracks, Slow Magic returns to his highly stylized electronic, laying down chilled beats and shifted vocals amidst layers of ambient textures and nostalgic synths. The music flows in a manner akin to the best offered up by Tycho or Kiln, yet it is injected with a playful personality that puts it somewhere between a mash up of downtempo electronica and glacial dubstep. Think Blue Sky Black Death with less of a focus on hip hop beats and a migration back to a more standard IDM framework.
As always, Slow Magic knows how to make a hit. “Girls” is likely to remain the album’s signature track, but “Closer” ends the album on a high note and displays the most versatility in a single track. It’s a fitting closer to an album that packs in a plethora of styles. “Youth Group,” “Hold Still,” and “Let U Go” are also highlights, but honestly, there is not one forgettable track to be found. Slow Magic has done a great job cutting the fat and only offering up the prime meat on his first full length.
With an ambitious touring schedule on the horizon a duo of strong releases under his belt, it is looking like Slow Magic is going to be a staple for fans of electronica in the years ahead. Highly recommended.