DJ Mix | MagicHour
L.A. production team Jarrett Spiegel and Colin Yarck may have adopted the artist name MagicHour, but given the lightening quick transitions and finely-tuned track selection of their debut mixtape Seconds, and it makes me wonder if the release's title shouldn't replace 'hour' as these dudes namesake unit of time. This sucker moves quick. I'd barely settled into the mix before "The Lives We Invent"—a track I've known and enjoyed since it's early demo stages—was bubbling out from my speakers. It's the fourth track in.
Spiegel (a.k.a. Popstatic), a veteran Chicago DJ and increasingly promising producer, and Colin Yarck, an accomplished songwriter, musician, main producer and member of off-and-on synth pop act Walter Meego, came together as MagicHour about two years ago while still calling Chicago home. Now the two have gone career in L.A. and have an album in the wings—bits of which you can catch, in all their glory, on this mixtape.
"Mixtape" doesn't really cut it though. Part sonic experiment, part series of edits, part aural biography, part DJ mix, all party and zero actual tape, Seconds is nothing if not a wild ride. I can safely say that no musical entity has successfully combined the likes of Sa-Ra, John Lennon, Enya and the "Cantina Band Theme" from Star Wars. I doubt many have tried, and if they have, their efforts surely pale in comparison to this hyperactive space-pop romp.
And while the DJ mix/beat tape format is a perfect vehicle for introduction (as well as a great promotional tool), the middle chunk of Seconds, which is chiefly original productions from MagicHour, could easily stand on its own. Unlike the lion's share of synth-pop and dance music, MagicHour eschews easy categorization. Mixing the orchestral pop and lush production value of idols like the Beach Boys and the Beatles with galactic boom-bap beats, boogie synths and disco sheen, this pair has set out to create cosmic pop for the 21st Century, and succeeded.
If nothing else, it leaves listeners eagerly awaiting the release of their debut LP, Remember Harder, and the number of remixes Spiegel and Yarck have in the works, including a rerub for Mad Decent indie act Dawn Golden and the Rosy Cross, which you can download below. Prepare to be entertained.
—Joshua P. Ferguson
LISTEN: MagicHour Seconds
DOWNLOAD: Dawn Golden & Rosy Cross "White Sun" (MagicHour Re-Vision) | 320 mp3