Monday, November 1, 2010
The Time-Traveler’s Pocket Guidebook. A presumptuous title, perhaps, but Magic Places' debut album more than keeps its promises. Rather than read the Guidebook, we simply open our ears to the sounds therein, and the secrets of time-travel are absorbed into our collective conscious. Upon absorption, we find an absolutely magnificent, synth-driven spectacle that does indeed slow seconds into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, and so forth. Some passages glisten and twinkle in a bubbling candescence, like celestial gems reflecting off moon-swept waters. Other selections drone on and gaze out, alternately stabbing and washing clean an otherwise shimmering electronic plane. Whatever the case, these are the marvelous sounds of traversing through space and time, blasting off against gravity’s grain, the push and pull of particles passing across the arc of time.
Like much of the bedroom-born, blissed-out laptop music of late, there's an undeniable degree of 80s nostalgia here - if not for synth pop, then for soundtracks to movies with giant, flying dogs and labyrinths. But like the best of the 80s revivalists - Memory Tapes and Washed Out - Magic Places is indebted to the past but not beholden to it. That is, Magic Places takes inspiration from the past, but he's also been to the future and knows what it sounds like, and that makes his present music-making all the more majestic and meaningful. A Time-Traveler's Pocket Guidebook, indeed.
Led by the stirring, soulful "Through The Map Door" and surrounded by equally excellent songs such as "Timespace Reveille," The Time Traveler's Pocket Guidebook certainly sounds like one of the year's best albums.
Magic Places - Through The Map Door
Magic Places - Timespace Reveille
Experience the complete Guidebook at Magic Places' Bandcamp.
(via Don't Die Wondering and No Modest Bear)