Photo by Landon Speers
Young Magic constructs songs by warping samples into amorphous shapes, and their recording process is similarly nebulous. Despite forming in Brooklyn in 2010, the duo has international roots: singer Melati Malay hails from Indonesia, and producer Isaac Emmanuel comes from Australia. For their 2012 debut, Melt, Young Magic captured the songs in the midst of traveling. Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, and several other countries make an appearance in the liner notes. True to its name, Melt sounded melted together, with songs blooming out of chopped-up beats and effects.
For Breathing Statues, globe hopping took Young Magic to Morocco, France, and New Zealand before they finished up the record in New York. The album sounds like a sonic postcard from these disparate places–just on “Fall In,” you can hear a buzzing oud-like instrument repeatedly popping up in the mix before its washed out by Malay’s voice and the neo-Portishead drum beat. It’s mood-setting music, but it can grab you in surprising ways.