Slow Magic, as his cryptic biography states, is our “unknown imaginary friend”. A successful but mysterious chillwave producer (he’s remixed for Gold Panda, Giraffage and XXYYXX), Slow Magic is presented as a luminous mask; the hybrid of a fox, a cat and a dog. Acclaim Magazine describes his sound as “the aural equivalent of an Instagram filter”, and with live percussion layered over this mystique, he certainly makes for something a little different.
In previous interviews the producer has been as secretive about his current location as he has about his identity, so I was surprised when he was candid enough to say he was calling from LA, finishing off the follow-up to his successful 2012 release, ∆, and working on a brand new remix for Flight Facilities.
Slow Magic is definitely not the first artist to work behind a secret identity, but whether we admit it or not, anonymity does hold a fair level of intrigue. In this man’s case though, it isn’t a vain attempt to appear enigmatic. The producer believes that secrecy brings the focus back to his music, connecting people to his sound.
“Even though it’s somewhat impersonal, I think it adds a personal ownership to the project that people can relate to,” says Slow Magic’s creator. “The first time I played … I was talking to some random people and asking how my own set went. They told me without knowing it was me, and I realised I could get really sincere answers. It’s kind of scary, but it’s nice.”
Like the ambiguous mask the artist dons when he performs, Slow Magic likes his listeners to define him, rather than doing it himself. What he will say, though, is that his next release (due later this year) will be a “progression, not a departure” from his last, and that his music encapsulates a sense of summery nostalgia – the first record, ∆, being a summer’s day, and the upcoming album a summer’s night.
Adding to Slow Magic’s overall allure is the project’s visual centricity. His videos are captivating, and our anonymous guide takes the aesthetic side of his concept seriously. “I think that the visual aspect of music is almost as important as the music itself,” he says.
Slow Magic has created an admirable paradox. Despite building a buffer between his real self and the public, his performances have one goal in mind: breaking down the barrier between artist and audience. At every show, the producer finds a way to overcome the barriers of security and stage limitations, and joins the crowd, often letting the audience play the drum pads along with him.
“I think overall it’s important to have the mentality that the people onstage and the people not onstage are all in it together, there’s no separation, and sometimes [the barrier] is just there … itcanbe broken down.”
We’ll soon be able to join Slow Magic in smashing drums over his glittery glo-fi when he tours Australia this month, and seeing as he’s arriving into our summer he’s excited because, well, “that’s what I write songs about”.
The only reaction he wants from his Australian audience is surprise. “I hope that it’s something they don’t expect. That’s really all I can ask, I guess; that people will have a good time, there’s not much more.”