An Aiwa CSD-FD82 that now resides on the front porch of my house when the weather is nice or vaguely tolerable. It’s an entirely unremarkable and dependable unit, with a strong mid-range response and the tendency to interpret sub bass as a garbled “bpthhhh” sound. Thankfully that latter quirk doesn’t affect how this tape so much.
Magic Eye is an Edinburgh-based four piece that’s been getting some well-deserved for attention their debut EP, Shreddin' on Heaven’s Floor. Their names are Francis, Roma, Bek, and Alex, if you are into that kind of thing. They have cool t-shirts and will hopefully keep making music.
Magic Eye make meandering guitar-centric music that winks at influences from across the timeline of dream pop and organically integrates more angular, retro, and loungey bits. The music carries a sense of ambiguity, along with a gentle melancholy that adds its own nervous energy. The A side is full of lovingly crafted and painfully catchy tunes. The B-side’s first track is an unexpectedly sensible cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and quickly moves on to a side full of more aired tracks that showcase Roma’s versatile voice, while giving Alex and Bek’s guitars more room to dance around each other and fill up the reverb-laden zones in between Francis’ steady beats. Harp glissandos act as intros for both sides. This is supremely pretty stuff that’ll keep finding its way back onto your tape deck, seemingly of its own accord.
How it sounds:
I am confident that you can enjoy this music without sitting on a porch on a spring evening watching the sun go down and your whole street turn magenta as flower blossoms drift slowly by, but I would highly recommend you make that happen for yourself. Even if you can’t, the guitar riffs and drums pop through the mix cleanly, while the tape sound allows the rests of the melodies to gel, melt, and reconstitute themselves.
The full package:
Eye Bodega’s Rob Chabebe created the packaging for this release. The art plays on the muted clash of light blue and orange and the tape itself is covered with these colors on alternate sides. It’s simple, memorable, and more detailed than you realize at first glance.
“Japan” is pentatonic scale glory de l'excédent!
“Flamin’ Teenage” embodies the appeal of Magic Eye’s sound. It’s a good time, but hides a an abundance of complexity.
Shreddin' on Heaven’s Floor is now available from Animal Image Search.