Music Review: Young Magic – Melt (2012, Carpark Records)

The preposterous of a hypertechnological generation seeking to reestablish relations with humanity’s roots and nature is imprinted on Young Magic’s eclectic mix as recorded worldwide with appropriate, portable tools.

Genre: Chillwave / World / Synthpop / IDM

Region: New York City, USA etc.

Artists Website: Young Magic bandcamp

Label: Carpark Records

Young Magic, the sonic vessel of Isaac Emmanuel, Melati Malay  and Michael Italia, just sailed into high waters with their debut LP aptly titled ‘Melt’. The band echoes the growing desire of a generation to genuinely discover and embody a world of diversity. With tools and mindset of the cosmopolitanist postmodern, ‘Melt’ in its quest to find roots, creates an overly-pleasant cosmonautic stew.

This current sophisticated/technological era, although it provides a wealth of tools to the privileged, it leaves it up to the (undermined) will of the individual to escape the cultural void and experience a fulfilling life. Young Magic took the chance, chose the minimally necessary equipment (a portable studio) and embarked on a journey to affirm their relation to cultures and nature.

The aforementioned condition might apply to many people at present. In any case, how does high-tech beat making when walking out of the comfort zone of home?

Two Australians and one Indonesian recorded ‘Melt’ in more than 15 places across the globe like Melbourne, Rome, Iguazu and New York City. While there is a wide range of sounds and a globalist vibe, you won’t hear a collection of music styles from around the world here. This music is primarily personal and introspective producing a psychedelic, hazy realm of sample-laden pop as colliding with tribal beats.

Album’s starter ‘Sparkly’ showcases this rhythmic ingenuity and melodic sensitivity – it is one of the best of Young Magic’s harvest. The ritualistic percussive origins become more evident in tracks like ‘Slip Time’, ’You With Air’, ‘Yalam’ and ‘The Dancer’ among others. However, the tons of mind-travelling synths and samples are the commonplace here. There are some noisy distorted licks in the beautiful soundscapes of ‘Night In The Ocean’ but mostly in ‘Watch For Our Lights’ as well as shoegaze/post-rock timbres overall.

There are proper compositions, there is romanticism, there is experimentation, there is dreaming, there is retrospection; nonetheless there is an attitude of moving forward by eclectically picking sounds from the past and all over the world to create another universe.

Young Magic build on the musical bridges set by brave genre-defying artists of the past, as periodically presented in Isaac Emmanuel’s web page. One can also draw parallels with contemporary artists like High Places and Animal Collective. ‘Melt’ is an inventive record to immense, escape or even see the world anew.


Check also:

Rodja – Immanence (2012, mime netlabel)

CHLLNGR – Datter (2012, Time No Place)

Pixelord – Keramika EP (2012, Hit And Hope)

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