Electronic Artist Slow Magic on the Paradox of an Anonymous Identity
Slow Magic makes another appearance in Colorado, at the Gothic Theatre on Thursday, December 3, with like-minded electronic-pop artists Giraffage, Lindsay Lowend and Bollywood Life. Performing in a costume and striking mask, Slow Magic aims to direct the audience's attention to the music and the show's visual art. The mask itself invites the projection of imagination onto the imagery.
“It's [an] imaginary friend,” Magic says. “An imaginary animal. I've heard a lot of different things about what it is: fox, zebra, horse. But I want to leave it up to people who come to see the band to decide.”
The mask started out as a cardboard construction made by a friend, and though the current incarnation is visually similar, it's primarily made of plastic and includes lights. The mask looks totemic — an abstracted, even mythological, animal. Attached to a human body, it is reminiscent of the sacred imagery of half-human, half-animal creatures in cave paintings and inside pyramids. But in the context of ethereal yet bright electronic-pop music, Slow Magic's otherworldly presence is somehow also inviting and playful.
Slow Magic made different kinds of music earlier in life, but one day, a track seemed to demand a different presentation. “I came up with the concept of releasing music as the imaginary friend everyone has: anonymous, no location, no face,” Magic says.
On tour, Slow Magic has been able to maintain this anonymity while expanding its musical horizons. In 2012, the release of its debut album — a triangular icon serving as the non-textual title — garnered a bit of a national following. In 2014, How to Run Away marked a move away from what some might describe as a chillwave and witch-house aesthetic, revealing a broader musical palette that includes more nuanced compositions informed by a creative use of space. The album title, however, represented even more of a shift between sounds or maintaining an anonymous identity.
“Another reason I started the project this way is that I didn't feel connected to a specific scene,” explains Magic. “I felt like there was a more universal music scene with the Internet. [The album title is about] how you love home and how it's good to run away sometimes. It's about the freedom of being somewhere new and unexpected, and the magic that can bring.”
Though there are other bands with "magic" in their names (Real Magic, Here We Go Magic, Young Magic), Slow Magic explains how the word ties in with key aspects of the project.
“It's about what the process of making music is for me,” Magic says. “It's slow because I am meticulous and I worry about every detail, and it takes me a long time to come up with something. But the magic is trying to create something out of nothing in the beginning. Music is like something we can't describe because it affects everyone in a big way. It's a mystery so it's like magic.”
For much of Slow Magic's existence, it was a one-person affair, and for the most part, promoters and clubs have been cooperative with preserving the artist's anonymity. But with the most recent tour, more people joined the team to produce the act's light show. For the current co-headlining tour with Giraffage, concert-goers can expect not just expanded production on the stage show but also new music and new merch on hand. With the dream-like, hazy quality of the music on hand, the show provides an otherworldly respite from the winter blues.
Slow Magic and Giraffage with Lindsay Lowend and Bollywood Life at Gothic Theatre this Thursday, December 3. Doors are at 7 p.m.; the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show, 16+. For more information, please visit the Gothic Theatre website.
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