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Album Review: Slow Magic – How To Run Away

2 min read

Enigmatic producer Slow Magic has emerged once again from the ether to release the highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s ‘▲’ album. How To Run Away is a seamlessly produced body of work centred on the fluctuation between expertly crafted rhythms and beats, and ethereal melodic breaks.

Slow Magic Album

The beautiful RnB piano introduction of Still Life sets up the almost paradoxical organic impression of the electronic album. Showcasing Slow Magic’s expert ability for layering, the track builds to a crashing climax of old school synths and percussion, which leads into the incredibly catchy lead single Girls. Girls The track employs use of handcrafted samples, layered over hints of acoustic piano, to create a cohesive and exuberant sound: deconstructionist house that plays between worlds.

He maintains this playfulness in Waited 4 U, using intricate polyrhythms to accompany the push and pull of the distorted vocal samples, uttering a celestial language that is strangely moving and comprehensible. Hold Still then throws the listener into a world of crisp rhythms laid over minimalist, smooth organ and bold synths that perpetually builds to a striking, soaring moment of jazz-inspired piano.

Across the middle of the album, Slow Magic goes from showcasing his strong sense for melodic writing in Youth Group, to switching things up completely with the chilled out, submerged melancholy of Let U Go. The 30 seconds of spectral piano accompanied only by claps, minimal percussion and sparse vocals is one of the more beautiful moments of the album, displaying a real emotional and musical range often lost in the genre.

Things start to pick back up again with On Yr Side, and the disco-inspired Bear Dance, before the ambient 90s RnB reverie of Closer slowly brings the listener back down to earth. One of the strongest tracks on the album, Closer includes a beautiful cello duet in its centre, a simple but stunning intermission between the expertly-handled vocal loops based only on five repeated notes, which could have become monotonous and lacklustre if they had been produced by someone else.

The masked musician’s latest release is an eclectic collection of tracks that fluctuates smoothly between the past, the future and the foreign. With its stammering beats, tranquil ambience, moments of organic instrumentation, and otherworldly transcendence, How To Run Away is a beautifully-crafted album built on undisturbed escapism.