The electronic-music world is rife with acts who do things differently, DJs who take performing to a whole different level, and artists whose music can't help but make your body move. Slow Magic, however, easily fits all three molds. Performing in a mask, playing live drums and creating some of the catchiest dance tunes going, Slow Magic also does a live set that is something to behold, to say the least. On his new album, Float, he drops collaborations and features with the likes of Tropics, MNDR and Kate Boy. The Houston Press was more than pleased to bend his ear ahead of his show tomorrow night at White Oak Music Hall.
Even within the electronic genre, the music Slow Magic creates is pretty impressive. Much of his new release harkens back to his early recordings; the sounds are more raw and emotive. So many of them sound like potential singles it's amazing he fit them all on one album. "The goal is for the songs to be able to stand alone, so I do think about that when I make them," says the elusive producer. "I appreciate that you feel that way, it's what I'm aiming for."
Some songs on Float almost seem to reinvent what Slow Magic has done in the past, something he's been able to do with each new release without abandoning his sound as a whole. It's a gamble that few can pull off, but he does so with ease, it seems. "I definitely think that for me, it's always a balance of staying true to my sound and trying something new at the same time," replies the masked performer.
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That mask, now in yet another incarnation, is an element the producer seems never to want to take off. Wearing it at all times definitely lets the music live on its own, he explains. "I've had it since the beginning, though there have been different versions of it before this new one," Slow Magic says. "I enjoy it because it lets the music have less of a human quality. It lets things be just about the music, and takes the person out of the equation."
While electronic music seems to thrive in the world of smaller and even micro-labels, Slow Magic has enjoyed the reach of the major-label system. Now part of the Interscope family, with Float being his second release on Downtown Records, the size of the label isn't really a factor for the producer. "This is my second release with them, and I don't think the label's size matters to people who like what I do," he says. "It does help with collaborations and they did help get me the features I wanted, or at least made it easier to make them happen with this release."
Slow Magic's live sets are a different story altogether, full of energy and crazed intensity. He was such a highlight of one Fun Fun Fun Fest a few years back that the performance sticks with me today; perhaps the Houston fans will see the same kind of performance at Friday's show. "I remember that show, and yeah, a festival can definitely bring out my energy," he says. "But with this tour, it's a new show with a new stage setup with a new mask. The crowd's energy helps fuel my energy onstage, so hopefully there will be plenty of energy back and forth as well as lots of dancing while I add drums to this set."
Catch Slow Magic at tomorrow's all-ages show at White Oak Music Hall downstairs with openers Kasbo and Qrion. Doors at 8 p.m.; tickets $15 to $20.