Posts filed under ‘Computer Magic’
Computer Magic is a space oddity. There’s always been something otherworldly or science fiction about the music of Danielle “Danz” Johnson — and maybe it’s because the Brooklyn artist’s sound is so distinctively her own. Yes, there are familiar touchstones throughout all her music, just like you’d have with any other artist — but it’s the way she takes those genres, deconstructs them and re-orders them into Danz-world galactic gems. Listening to her music is like co-piloting a weird rocket-ship ride that takes you out of the stratosphere and toward whatever her destination is. Jump on board and be transported to some tripped-out, kaleidoscopic 70s cartoon reality that morphs the digital and the futuristic with design, dance and outer space — ending in a kind of shimmering oddity that’s always uplifting.
I’ve never really viewed Computer Magic’s musical output in terms of stages, like I do with many other artists. It’s natural to think that way about a musician or band. Perhaps, it’s the way she’s released songs, often a single at a time. And she never quite sounds the same as she did the song before. She’s a true musical explorer, willing to use all kinds a genres, from disco to 80s-synth, to a touch of spacey-soul (which manifests itself most in her outward musical persona). It’s her adventurousness that I enjoy most, which is part of the reason why I liked her video for the “End of Time” so much, where she walks around New York wearing an astronaut suit. It’s a clever concept, but it also works as a metaphor for how I view her musical acumen. The music of Computer Magic goes as Danz goes, which appears to be anywhere and everywhere, releasing a slew of EPs, a split 7-inch, lots of fantastic singles, some covers, and even two full-length LPs released only in Japan. Now, she’s re-releasing her cheekily-titled EP, “Extra Stuff”, on vinyl in April, after posting this latest track, “A Confession”. Whew. Well, “A Confession” is one of the best tracks Computer Magic has created, with its gorgeous molasses-slow downtempo, hypnotically spaced-out vocals, and the muted feelings of love within the lyrics: “Dying to say that I like you / Can’t always say what I want to … anymore.” Note: All lyrics are unofficial. You can follow Computer Magic at facebook. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Computer Magic posted a new track on her soundcloud page, a cover of Sun Ra classic “Dreaming”. Although it’s not the sound and cosmic, jazzy Afrofuturism Sun Ra and his Arkestra are known for — “Dreaming” (with the Cosmic Rays) is a pretty kind of spacey doo-wop. This idea of another plane of consciousness always fascinated the prolific jazz composer, “If you live in fables, then you know what I mean / For that is a world where things aren’t what they seem.” Years ago, I was lucky enough to see Sun Ra Arkestra perform once in a small, intimate setting and it was something to remember. The band would often leave the stage, moving in synchronization, dance moves in unison, catchy brass blasting, infectious and fun rhythms lasting for minutes. Computer Magic turns “Dreaming” into a creamy synth number, keeping the song’s airy simplicity intact. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Danz (aka Computer Magic) lights it up with this new track “Another Science”, a song with a wicked bassline and arcade-game crazy rhythm. It’s a new song off the “A Million Years/Another Science” digital release, which she says will be available within the next few days. The album will be on soundcloud, but limited in number of downloads available. Click here to read archived Their Bated Breath posts about Computer Magic. Note: Photo from artist’s facebook page. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Between stints at SXSW and live shows in San Francisco, Miami and Toronto, Computer Magic was putting out some new tunes. Listen to the five-song EP, “Orion”, at her official website or at her soundcloud page. It’s out via Kitsuné. There’s that patented sort of disco-groove flavor in the music, that her fans have come to love. But the record is also a bit of a shift for Computer Magic (aka Danz), with wildly energetic songs like “Help Me”, “Trinity”, and “Moving Forward” bouncing every which way with layered synth, repeated vocals, and funky bass rhythms. Be sure to follow Computer Magic on facebook. Note added April 4th: You can also watch a new video for “Trinity” here. — David D. Robbins Jr.
Computer Magic (aka Danz) is coming off a big year in which she released a 12-inch “Electronic Fences”, and singles “End of Time”, “(Just Like) Starting Over”, and the ‘End of Time” video — called the best video of 2011 by Their Bated Breath. Well, this year she’s already started off with two singles, “Ex-Believer”, and the most recent disco-ed out “Trinity”. You can follow Computer Magic at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.