A luminescent, colour-warping horse mask was glued to Slow Magic’s face. His sticks pounded the drums before him as the mass danced around in an electro-tribal formation. The beats of his chattering wands guiding the sways forming a wave of slow-moving dancers.
Slow Magic’s music carries a jovial tone; it cools you down on a muggy afternoon or warms your insides on a chill late-September night. The Electric Owl was at capacity for Friday night’s concert, which could have also been a reason for the sweltering heat inside its walls. Bodies smooshed together in a sweaty, steam pile of flesh and beer spit. Sorry, Slow Magic – your tunes are warm and reminiscent of a newborn’s first laugh (pretty sure he has sampled laughter), but it’s not actual magic; it can’t control the weather.
Slow Magic’s drum play was impressive. He managed to add an extra element to his set that was a welcome change to watching a guy (or girl) on stage twisting knobs and sliding switches. This was a performance on top of a showcase. Slow Magic was a ball of kinetic energy on stage, flailing his arms and legs around as his mask continued to absorb the crowd’s energy with every pulse of light. Somehow, these seemingly chaotic movements resulted in some fantastic, rehearsed accompaniment.
With his final song, “Corvette Cassette”, Mr. Magic lowered himself into the wave with a single drum. Almost instantly, two of his minions (also sporting fashionable masks) crawled on stage and huddled around the rest of the percussion section. Two men on stage and one in the crowd. A wonderful finale to cap off a fantastic half-set (I was a tad tardy).
Bathroom break: people in the stalls blowing their noses in reverse and emerging from the stall feeling like a billion bucks.
Gold Panda emerged behind his booth shortly after Slow Magic descended. No mask. No gimmick. A stereotypical of a skinny, white guy vibing behind a laptop and a mixer. Cue visual art installment and press “play” to start the slow-motion nature scenes. To be more specific, slow-motion shots of lavender oscillating to the music in fragmented, choppy jerks. Shots similar in jerkiness to a slow internet connection, but it was consistent and went well with the music; a great companion for those in attendance with heightened and/or distorted visual senses.
The London producer played a mixed bag of songs from both his CDs: Lucky Shiner (2010) and Half of Where You Live (2013). The set lasted just over an hour and was met with a constant buzz of approval from the crowd. Same as during Slow Magic’s set (minus the chattering wands), Gold Panda’s beats guided a mass of sways into a wave of dance. Eyes closed, feet firmly planted, following the roots of the lavender down, down, down into the ground below.