Slow Magic

How to Run Away

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Masked and mysterious like Deadmau5 but an electronica animal of a completely different temperament, Slow Magic would have the perfect moniker if it only mentioned how well the producer did with midtempo. Building on his debut release Triangle, his sophomore LP How to Run Away forms songs out of shards of music and twists random samples into hooks that are singalong-but-you-can't-really or Girl Talk-styled. Best example: the random syllables that fill the infectious highlight "Girls." "Let U Go" is the beautiful sound of a deep house record played at the wrong, slower speed that still makes sense, while the closing "Closer" uses the effective EDM trick of build, pause, and release, although it's not a floor-filler but a subtle and slow soul-filler. "Youth Group" is the most upfront the album gets, with a Kavinsky-styled compressed synth line offering sheen and something slick, and as far as the man behind the mask, "On Yr Side" and "Manhattan" are both such a rich mix of tradition, talent, and forward-thinking, that it must be Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, or someone new with those same deep skills. Ten tracks long and the album is right-sized, and with everything flowing smoothly from one track to the next, How to Run Away is a magnificent debut and an excellent tonic for anyone who wants to drift away, not run, from the chaotic world outside.

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