Australian producer, Isaac Emmanuel and Indonesian vocalist, Melati Malay are the sonic pairing behind Young Magic, an electronic band formed and currently based in New York – whenever not travelling the world. The eclectic outfit has recorded music whilst traversing the four corners of the earth. After starting as a solo project, Isaac began playing with percussionist Michael Italia (who later left the band ) back in 2007, meeting Melati in 2009 for the first time.
After debuting a series of 7-inches on Carpark Records in 2011, the trio took the stage at Iceland Airwaves and began touring globally. February 2012 saw the release of their full length, Melt with the likes of NPR, BBC, New York Times, XLR8R and a plethora of others singing the album’s praises. Now, the duo presents a new gift from their explorations in their sophomore release, Breathing Statues, recorded in fragments through Morocco, France, Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland and finished in their home studio in New York.
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm
Develop an interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich. Forget yourself
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Finding new life in a piece of sound, then letting it go completely to the world.
How and when did you get into making music?
First as a listener, then a desire to make. Originally in art school making site-specific installations with accompanying loops to soundtrack the space. I’d always played in band s beforehand , but things didn’t really ‘click’ until after college, when I started making my own recordings, and dived into this process.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
The Rubiyat Of Dorothy Ashby
Songs Of Innocence
(although a more honest answer would be ‘music is not a competition’)
What do you associate with Berlin?
A secret club in a sewer in Neukölln. People making love on the cars outside my window (happened more than once). Falling asleep by the canal with a book on my face.
A quickly changing city. A people of delightful, idiosyncratic nature. A summer of unimaginable grace, and a winter of unimaginable presence.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
A small swimming spot called Blue Hole, about 30 minutes out of Woodstock in The Catskill Mountains. There is something distinct about spending time in moving water, particularly with 60ft of deciduous forest looming above.
It’s a locale that even on the coldest of days, is hard to resist.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Write a book, learn to garden in Japan, practice not speaking for weeks, volunteer in outback Australia, learn to swim a little deeper and find out how to generate and respond to sound as language, again.
What was the last record you bought?
Gil Michel – Whimsical Raps (This Thing)
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
The next person who emails, who is making for the sake of making (in any medium) and love.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I don’t really have many ‘bests’ in my life these days, only an ongoing spectrum of moments across all shades.
How important is technology to your creative process?
More and more so. I’ve found machine’s have been actively responding to my moods and passions. Unconscious ‘mistakes’ are a communication! One that triggers inspiration – life in an “inanimate” object. It’s a wonderful moment. And I feel this.. this movement toward a symbiotic relationship between the natural world and technology: on a larger scale of course. But to zoom back in for a second, technology is absolutely enabling – and is always an extension of yourself when making. Melati and I have always utilized whatever we have at our disposable, and that interest continues to grow as we move through different places and explore new instruments. Without a portable digital realm to collect, nurture and manipulate these sounds (and an analogue domain in which to to create them) our process would be extremely different.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I do, and I must ask them next time I see them!
Our Favourites: Young Magic – Something in the Water | ” target=”_blank”>Young Magic – You with Air |
Young Magic – Sparkly