Young Magic – “Lucien” (Stereogum Premiere)

Young Magic is the experimental soul project of Melati Malay and Isaac Emmanuel. Born in Jakarta and Sydney respectively, the two create music that balances expansive and reverberating soundscapes with more grounding eastern instrumentals. The result is mysterious and dark, while bordering on futuristic through the sleek drum sounds and synths Emmanuel weaves throughout his beats.

Now, after having released two LPs as well as a set of remixes, the two have come back with a new project, Still Life, which was made by utilizing a set of field recordings collected by Malay in her home town of Java, Indonesia — hence the inclusion of a gamelan on their lovely new track “Lucien.” Explains Malay, the journey was inspired by her American father’s death last year:

My father had been somewhat of a mystery to me. How did a boy from the Midwest end up in the jungles of Borneo during the 60s, trading his watch and a carton of cigarettes for the gravestones of the indigenous headhunters? … I’ve always felt torn, like some kind of hybrid existing between two worlds. Born to a Catholic father and a Muslim mother, growing up bilingual, attending an international school in Jakarta where all my friends were from different countries…in a city of 30 million people where the clash between poverty and affluence is extreme.

Listen below.

Still Life is out 5/13 via Carpark. Grab it from the label or get “Lucien” instantly when you pre-order at iTunes.

Tags: Young Magic