Facebook Slider

Midnight Magic - Free From Your Spell

  • Published in UNX

The roots of New York’s dance history are firmly embedded in the music of Midnight Magic and put into practice in perhaps the finest way yet on their new album Free From Your Spell. It takes you back to the '70s with all the bathhouses and newfound clubs. With all the pizzazz of the people that were regulars and wanted to hear the newest disco to celebrate love and lust in freer ways than ever before. Midnight Magic does add a dash of modern, giving the sound a contemporary feel that elevates it above a mere knock-off '70s Anita Ward LP. It’s got all the 21st-century production values and dancefloor aesthetics but stays within the disco framework that was set a couple of decades ago.

First of all, there are the vocals; sung by a powerful woman who sings about finding love. You’ve got the drums, giving you the rhythm of the disco dance floor along with the bass. There are, of course, the horns, coming in strong, conquering back their place in dance music. Naturally, there is plenty of other goodness there, like the synths, vocal effects and the stuff that comes out of the latest Moog-like machinery. However, when listening to this album, it's only one genre that it can belong to.

What Midnight Magic really have done well is they have made tracks on this LP that can be played on the night out. A track like ‘Dark Thunder’ has a catchy bass, a nice little guitar riff, and a piano line for some of that mid-paced action to get sexy too. There are also the fast paced numbers, like the title track, coming in with the steady, hard-hitting kick, then immediately the horns, and the extra percussion for even more rhythm. At the start of the album you have perhaps the quickest one of all, ‘I Gotta Feeling’, announcing that she has a feeling coming on, and everyone on the disco dancefloor knows exactly what that feeling just might be.

However, like a disco album of the older years, there are also the ballads. On this album, they very much embody the night and its longing. A song like ‘Malibu Fun’ might mislead you with its title, but the synths build up a tone that is altogether not about sunny beaches and teenagers popping the caps off the coke bottles. She seemingly sings alternately: 

"When it’s hot outside // when it’s hard outside" as the ghostly sound hovers around Tiffany Roth’s lower register vocals. Often times in these tracks there are drum rhythms that are lower paced and not for communal dancing, but for being alone. 

This is very much a contemporary disco album. It’s not trying to imitate the '70s albums, as its sound is too modern. It isn’t even a work of pastiche, that works as a genre piece of time. Refreshingly, it really just is a contemporary disco album. One with Tiffany Roth’s strong vocals, the drum dictating steady in pace and with plenty of horns from plenty of musicians, which rarely gets made in this modern era. Perhaps you only do that when you are truly in love with the aesthetic and messaging of the genre, and that love shines through in Free From Your Spell.

Free From Your Spell is available via Amazon & iTunes. 



The Weekly Froth! - 20161028

  • Published in Columns


The Weekly Froth! A weekly take on six tracks, most of which have recently popped up somewhere in the blogosphere. Bit of a mixed bag with a slight leaning towards house, disco, and remixes, but generally just anything that for some reason tickled the writer’s fancy.

Track of the Week:  ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by Midnight Magic (Jacques Renault remix)

Jacques Renault and Midnight Magic team up again. Renault already has a beautiful remix to his name of this band’s ‘Beam Me Up’, and this time around he puts the bass and Roth’s vocals to good use for this disco/house stomper. In the background there are all kinds of other elements as well, though it takes up until 1:22 before they even come close to being on the same level as the two aforementioned parts of this track (just to subside in a matter of moments again). It’s definitely the bass providing the dancefloor rhythm, providing the background to the vocals and to the horns that come in after the two minute mark, finally helping out that powerful voice that she’s got, singing that she Feels it coming, coming on. Which must be the horns she’s speaking of (obviously…), or that little bit of extra oomph in the rhythm at about the four minute mark, giving you that final nudge onto the dancefloor if you weren’t there yet (which is unthinkable, surely).


‘I Am A Joker’ by BEA1991 (Nick Monaco retouch)

Nick Monaco gets that piano riff in there from the get go, with the drum providing the rhythm line, though he’s even keeping that one light. Shortly after that, the female vocals come in, and after their first verse there is a short oomph, which continues when the vocals return. In the mean time the piano is still the one strutting its stuff, though it gets taken out and, after a minute, gets replaced by a more bass sound. Though, as main sounds tend to do, it comes back after a short minute or so, getting multiple layers in as well. Then Monaco returns the favor, showcasing that piano in a short solo bid before the kick comes in again to guide this one to its end. The combination of the dreamy vocals, the light percussion, and the piano give it a sort of elegance for the dancefloor.



 ‘Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window’ by Bob Dylan (Slow Hands cover)

So what happens when you win the Nobel Prize (whether you want to or not, apparently)? Why, you get covered by Slow Hands of course. They start it out in a very understated manner, giving it a bit of that jazzy class next to some electro fiddling. Then, the vocals come in, slightly hazy, with the clear and clean guitar sound cutting right through that. At 1:50 the song gets a little push, a little pace, through bass and drums, with the guitar still the main attraction right there. In the mean time, the vocals sing that You can go back any time that you want to (so how can he haunt you?), after which, again, that guitar comes back in for a little solo. Slow Hands show their musicality here once again, this time giving you a little bit of that Nobel class for all y’all to enjoy.



 ‘Peace And Love’ by Tall Black Guy feat. Masego & Rommel Donald

May there be peace and love, that’s the plea this one starts with (and surely, there can’t be enough people spreading that message around). After that, we get that slow jam beat going, with some female vocals and a bit of that gui-tar to bring that Let’s all love each other vibe right on in there. Just before the two minute mark the instrumentals are brought way back, with the male vocals coming in repeating that he wishes you Peace and love. Then, when the female voice comes in to repeat that wish right up until it gets granted, first that little beat comes back in, soon followed by that guitar yet again. The three minute mark is the cue for some of those horns to arrive, which are always a welcome sight. For the final minute and a half they bring it way down, going for a bit of spoken word starting a train analogy that gets mimicked in both word and sound, ending the journey with a bit of that gospel to bring that peace message back on home.



 ‘In Love With’ by Funkformer x Starving Yet Full (DBNN acoustic interpretation)

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of that acoustic sound going on, and from the get go it’s obvious that’s what you’re in for. Then, the half-speaking-half-singing vocals come in, giving you that Shakespearian ode to love talking about that Beautiful scar on your chest. Eventually coming to the conclusion that, yes, I’m in love with you, a line that gets continued into the chorus where some additional vocals are brought in to make sure the message comes through loud and clear. The second time the chorus comes around the extra vocals sing you the lines, with the main voice giving you that soul rendition of it. An acoustic ode to the one you love (or to the one that you left behind), we can never really have enough of those, can we?



 ‘Love Machine’ by Tempst Trio (SanFranDisko re-edit)

SanFranDisko gets the percussion to work, putting that pace in from the get go. Then, the bass, providing a slightly more steady rhythm. Soon after, the guitar riff, a very festive sounding one at that, with the strings only adding to this. The vocals soon come in, with them asking Let me be your love machine, turn me on, see what I mean (you go girl!). Just before the two minute mark the verse comes in as well, accompanied by a nice bass to make sure you can boogie down to this not only in the bedroom, but on that disco dancefloor as well. And it’s got all that Seventies goodness to make those dancers get down, with a handclap interlude around 3:20 to boot. After that he ups the funk, with the strings bringing you back to that disco sound. Put on this tune if you want to bring some sexy into your night out (and really, who doesn’t want a bit of that, let’s be honest now).



Subscribe to this RSS feed