Still caught in the wake of his debut EP, Unravel, Miami’s AbdeCaf (real name Steve Vaynshtok) has pulled in high school classmate Ptolemy to ride the futuristic dreamwave as #MAGICALPOWERS. Similarities between Unravel and the project’s self-titled debut are abundant, but the little-known Ptolemy has assisted reshaping AbdeCaf’s beats with a razor sharp shank. The four-track #MAGICALPOWERS barely spans 14-minutes, but like Grays Sports Almanac, seems hand delivered from the future for great personal gain.
Born from a city that basks in excess, the EP refines electronic music back to it’s purist elements. Like M83′s Anthony Gonzalez, Vaynshtok first honed his musical skills riffing across a Gibson Les Paul before turning his aesthetic toward more ambient works. #MAGICALPOWERS may not contain the emotive lyricism of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, but the complexities of “Divination” point to a production duo equally capable of arousing the microscopic hairs across the napes of necks. With sounds similar to Unravel’s “We Mistook Each Other For Lovers”, “Divination” sounds like a misguided dream — rolling through a murky bass line, running through a field of uptempo synth chops, sometimes stuck in a dark crevasse, but always moving forward.
The duo add their love of Gucci Mane and all things trap to the album’s predominant synthwave on “Telepathy”. Based on just three layers of spacious synthesizers, the track lives up to the billing of “witchy bitch house”, avoiding overused samples that would just muddle the synchronicity of the layers. Minimalism is key on opening track “Pyrotechnics”, which showcases each producer’s ability on their respective instrument; Vaynshtok meticulously running through scales on his Yamaha DAW and Ptolemy solidifying the staccato bass line on his drum kit.
The curtain drops on the album with “SOUTHBEACHWHITEMAN”, an uphill opus that has listeners constantly reaching for the next note. Similar to Com Truise and Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, the team behind #MAGICALPOWERS place nearly as much emphasis on the space between the notes as the melody itself. In an era where dance producers constantly attempt to one-up each other with bombastic samples and massive anticipatory drops, #MAGICALPOWERS has stripped away the excess, digitally crafting music that is a reflection of their own insecurities and not the genre-de-jour.
Essential Tracks: “Telepathy”, “Divination”
#MAGICALPOWERS is available now via Baku Shad-do Records.