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Recs From Young Magic

posted February 8, 2012, 11:34 am by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Music News, Recommendations from the Celebrity Mind, Releases | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Young Magic


Young Magic, a Brooklyn trio, is releasing their debut album, Melt,  on Feb 14th on Carpark Records. Although now firmly settled in New York City, Young Magic’s three members came together through equal helpings of openness and fortuity. In 2010, singer and producer Isaac Emmanuel had left his home continent of Australia to travel across Europe, over to New York, and down through Mexico, all the while creating and recording music with whatever instruments he found along the way. While in Mexico, Emmanuel kept a tight correspondence with fellow Australian expat Michael Italia, who for months had been similarly traveling across Europe and South America with portable recording gear in tow. They decided to meet up in New York, where their good friend from a few years prior, Indonesian-born vocalist Melati Malay, had been living and making her own recordings. In early 2011 the three friends, who had initially bonded over their broad musical palettes, began recording together and contributing songs to the record, culling influences and finding their own footing among them.

The immediately fruitful collaboration brought forth singles “Sparkly”, “You With Air” and “Night In The Ocean,” all of which were fitting indicators of the band’s chameleonic sound, heavily informed by West African rhythms, Brainfeeder hip-hop, UK bass, and 60s psychedelic soul. Young Magic’s full-length debut, Melt, comprises both of these tracks-as well as their B-sides-and expands on their varied aesthetic, at once electronically sequenced and completely organic. Containing recordings from 10 different countries, the album flaunts new facets at each turn, letting-as on “Watch For Our Lights”-rough samples from distant lands coalesce with drum machines and distorted synths. “Night In The Ocean” and “Jam Karet” put soaring synth pads around the higher frequencies while deep kicks keep the songs grounded, allowing Isaac and Melati’s vocals to float in synchronicity between. And with its shifting rhythm, open structure, and layers of echoed vocals, closer and highlight, “Drawing Down The Moon,” hints at crystalline take on UK garage: a last dance from a collection of short stories from around the world. With a sonic mélange of vibes on a debut that remains cohesive and distinctly their own, it will be exciting to see where the trio’s tastes will guide them next.



They will also be playing at SXSW this year.  We got a chance to chat with the band, to ask about which music they have been listening to, and what they recommend listening to:2011

TeebsAutumn Antique (Left Edit) (2011)  This came out last night and hasn’t left my headphones all day. Somehow in this New York winter I couldn’t feel much warmer.

SamarisGóða tungl from Kljompu (2011)  I first met Áslaug and Jófríður of Samaris just before our first show in Iceland. This EP became our soundtrack of that trip… sparse layers of dark winds floating over lava landscapes. They are still only so young so will be interesting to hear what they make next.

Galapagoose - Milkwood (2011)  Underrated sounds from the Melbourne monome wizard, featuring a beautiful sample from Brazilian singer é linda.

The other years..

Mariah心臓の扉 from (1983)  Transcending time whilst ahead of their time. Japanese group with an Armenian vocalist, who craft delicate jams that help you drift up and off. Highly recommended, and somehow completely lost to history. Translation? My Life Is Big.

Selda BagcanYaz Gazeteci Yaz from Selda (1976)  In a league of it’s own. When progressive Turkish label Türküola gave Selda the opportunity to make this record in the mid 70s, the outspoken protest singer saw Istanbul’s silenced musical genius come out of the woodwork to contribute, resulting in one of the most forward thinking, dangerous and mind-melting records of the era… in that part of the world or any other. This record still hasn’t left my playlists.

WOOSHIEDrama (Unreleased) (2009?)  Underrated Melbourne digger with such pristine soul and a dirty touch to his dusty, melting flips. In the reds and recommended.

Asha Bholse – O Babuaa Yeh Mahua from Sadma Soundtrack (1983)  The chorus melts me. The beat is already a beat. Her voice is amazing. And this scene of the film with Silk Smitha? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAAtcLyv1zw

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