It’s been three years since Slow Magic’s last album, How To Run Away, was released. At the time, I was but a fledgling in the electronic music industry, hoping to understand my place. Listening to that album gave me a sense of hope and purpose, and I eagerly awaited the next time I’d be able to listen to a Slow Magic record.
With the release of this year’s Float, I feel even more empowered. My life has changed a lot in the past three years since How To Run Away, but in a lot of ways, it has remained the same. The same could be said of Slow Magic’s musical style – still employing his own unique form of percussion and rhythm, Float is an absolutely magical journey through time and space.
Comparisons could be made to Odesza’s work, and in fact they have been made, but they’re really only applicable in two dimensions. Yes, some of the musical patterns are similar, and both artists use percussion as their main instrument, but that’s about where the similarities end. Odesza’s duality is the group’s strong suit, as members Harrison and Clayton play off of one another… in the same way, Slow Magic’s solidarity is his strong suit. And to add to that, his anonymity.
Rather than using his mask as a gimmick to support less than stellar music, the mask is simply a part of Slow Magic’s persona, an extension of himself that adds to the magnificence and brilliance of the music being portrayed. Of course, a lot of this effect is lost when simply streaming music, but is amplified ten fold in a live setting.
The album varies between instrumental and vocal tracks, making maximum use of each. Vocal tracks are longer and more impactful, whereas instrumentals are more heavily focused on percussion; “Drum” perhaps hits the nail too on the head.
“My last album How To Run Away was about my life at that time, really just moving at all times, running away from any reality and problems. I wanted to capture that feeling of freedom of youth when nothing really seems to matter in the long term. A lot of the songs were about specific places in the world I was able to experience for the very first time,” says Slow Magic
“On Float I wanted to go back to the beginning of Slow Magic. I wanted to capture the raw sounds and feelings and freedom of my first albums Triangle and How To Run Away while expanding and evolving into something completely new. Most of the songs started very stripped down, just with piano and organic instruments. I let the songs write themselves without forcing them to go anywhere they didn’t naturally go.”
That organic flow is most evident in the tracklist of the album, as opposed to within each track individually. The songs ebb and flow, cascading into one another effortlessly, and with the beautiful efficiency a perfectly oiled machine.
While it may seem like I’m lumping praise upon praise on the album, it’s not perfect – nothing is. However, it’s almost difficult to find any faults in it when it so easily hypnotizes you and draws you in. Before you know it, you’ve forgotten to try and find any faults (as a critic), and you’re just along for the ride. Though, perhaps that is a fault in itself… while the album from front to back is wonderful, no singular track stands out in particular, as “On Yr Side” did in How To Run Away, for example.
Despite this minor flaw, the album is worthy of your attention for a mere forty-two minutes. Stream it below.