Slow Magic: Beyond the mask
by HALEE HASTAD
Anonymity is a deep and rather complex concept. And it is one that we, in a digital age, are becoming more and more involved with. There is an essence of mystery that rests within the ability to conceal an identity and it draws attention.
As a tool, remaining anonymous can be quite powerful. Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be an inherent draw to those things that cannot be figured, information withheld. This plays out in many arenas and that of music is no exception.
Slow Magic identifies as a male and is a citizen of the United States. He does not disclose any other personal information beyond these two quite basic attributes and – get this – he does not have a Wikipedia page. I could make many additional guesses with regards to Slow Magic’s identity, but I do not get the impression they would make much of a difference. He did tell me that his father was a musician and even that small detail felt like nearly too much information.
It seems his anonymous nature may be a way to separate his personal life from his musician life.
“Being anonymous seemed like the best way to make sure listeners were focusing on what they were hearing, not on the person behind where the music was coming from,” he said.
This concept has transformed for Slow Magic over time. The first debut of the mask wasn’t meant to be the beginning of the staple that it has become. It was an experience of odd coincidence that led to a trend.
With lights, stripes and just enough space for Slow Magic to see what he is doing, the mask creates a somewhat enchanting persona for the artist behind it. It has never fallen off, he said, and typically sustains minimal damage during performances.
As a DJ, Slow Magic’s performance becomes more thought-provoking with the mask. There is a sense of theatre, and, instead of watching a dude turn nobs and click buttons, the crowd experiences a show with a character. With the addition of live drums, Slow Magic is wild to watch. And this seems necessary as many EDM musicians try and often falter to make their names in the industry.
To have something set you apart from the rest is quite valuable.
“I will say that there have been unexpected advantages to the anonymity,” Slow Magic explained.
He admitted he is not the first anonymous musician and says it has been an interesting time – experiencing what it means to challenge the way music is often presented.
“Music by your imaginary friend,” reads his Facebook description, and within this justice to his sound has been made. Slow Magic is transcendental, climactic and energizing. Slow, because making music takes a long time and Magic because sound is a mystifying force.
As all things change and evolve, so has Slow Magic’s music, but he says there is great attention paid to keeping a similar feel in his tracks. If there were any noticeable difference, it would surely be that the sounds he is making now are more upbeat than those of the past.
Live drumming seems to be the heartbeat of Slow Magic’s performance and is an aspect that, like the mask, sort of accidentally became a staple. He had been playing a show when his computer broke and he had no other option than to use his friends’ kit for rhythm and iPod for tunes. This addition created more vibration for the crowd and they “really felt it,” he said.
“There is something about that moment when the energy of the crowd and the energy of the music align,” he said. “It’s pure magic.”
Slow Magic is currently touring with Girrafage, not anonymous and from San Francisco, on their So Cute! Tour, which started on Nov. 4 in Dallas and ends in San Diego on the 20th.
Bellingham fans can look forward to their Dec. 8 arrival at the Wild Buffalo; this will be Slow Magic’s first time in Bellingham and he says the crowd can look forward to an amplified stage production with some very chaotic visuals.
Preference is that the line between the audience and performer isn’t ever too solid, Slow Magic said. Surprising, because it seems that anonymity may do just that – separate the viewer from the artist. But for this musician, that is not the case. Fans may find the ability to relate greater as a reflection of a missing personality.
They can create the story, the persona, for themselves as any person who they may relate to most. And within that also lies the power of being anonymous; letting others create what they will of you at their own discretion so that they can relate to you by the means which they prefer. For it to be an odd coincidence it sure is a smart marketing plan, if you ask me.
Live Show: Slow Magic performs Dec. 8 at the Wild Buffalo. Check out Slow Magic’s Facebook page for more information.
Published in the December 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine