Slow Magic / Kodak To Graph / DAKTYL The Garrison, Toronto ON, September 28

Slow Magic / Kodak To Graph / DAKTYL The Garrison, Toronto ON, September 28
Photo: Shane Parent
Not many performers can have a small crowd of fans riled up and jumping for joy on a Sunday night, but then again, not many performers possess the skills of the masked enigma Slow Magic.

Before the he took the stage, two opening acts looked to get the party started. A slow start to the night didn't work in the favour of London producer DAKTYL. His aggressive beatwork had enough thump to bring up the room, but for the six people in attendance at the time, his reworked club hits were nothing more than background music, as most people either hit the merch table or talked amongst themselves. Eventually, the room began to fill up and a few people started to nod their heads and get into it a bit more, and he greeted the crowd as he introduced his last track, a soulful banger with a lot of smooth, liquid production.

After the first set, fans went to buy their own custom Slow Magic light-up mask, which were all sold out by the time Kodak To Graph to the stage. His unique setup included an upside-down modular synth, a controller and laptop, all placed on a long table with dark table cloth. He asked that everyone come to the front of the room, a request the crowd met without hesitation. Sounds immediately began to flourish as stark field recordings looped for about five minutes before morphing into some pretty insane club music. Between his off-the-wall stage movements and incredible selections, Kodak To Graph lit a fire under the crowd that made it hard for them to stop moving, as he transitioned from warped footwork to hip hop edits, keeping things bass-y and weird throughout the set. A rework of Riff Raff's "Tip Toeing In My Jordans" got a big ovation from the crowd. Kodak ended his set and thanked the crowd before leaving the stage.

By then, a whole room of Slow Magic masks were flashing like Christmas lights, attached to the faces of his adoring fans. Slow Magic appeared, greeting fans and pointing to the few with masks on. A flurry of colours filled the room and things started off with some hypnotizing atmospherics, a lush build-up that got the crowd excited. Without warning, a series of blistering thuds followed as he went wild on the drums, as trickles of hi-hat samples filled out his warm, blippy production.

As the crowd danced along, Slow Magic brought his drum into the audience and began to pound away. The crowd created a circle around him, as the voice-activated masks all went off in unison, creating a fan-made light show in the middle of the venue. After fixing a minor tech issue, Slow Magic made everyone lose their minds as Destiny Child's "Say My Name" began to blare from the speakers. The room got groovy as he topped this classic with trickles of sampled 808s and more big drums over the chorus. The love continued to pour as his set raged on with more anthemic tracks from the new album, How to Run Away, which kept spirits on a cosmic high.

After letting the crowd play with his mini sampler during a few songs, Slow Magic ended the night with a floating, uptempo synth track and signalled the crowd to lift their hands in the shape of a heart, a non-verbal goodbye that led to an epic encore shortly after. Slow Magic left the stage again, leaving the track to fade out as he exited behind a curtain with his logo projected in glowing pink.

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