Magical Mistakes | Special Friends

Kassette Klub (2012)
By NINA MASHUROVA  |  February 28, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Before working as Magical Mistakes, Erik Luebs made bedroom electronica in California as Death by Panda. His new project was born when Luebs moved to a small village in the forest of Kyushu, Japan, in search of inspiration and room to focus. Luebs is not exactly living in Justin-Vernon-abroad isolation, though. He's involved with Osaka's Innit crew, and, on this EP, he combines original tracks with remixes and collaborations by And Vice Versa (Osaka), Lady Lazarus (California), Wong Lip Chin (Singapore visual artist), and Mutual Benefit (Boston's Jordan Lee, who releases Magical Mistakes albums on his Kassette Klub label). Special Friends is an easy album to get lost in. Electronic production blends with organic instrumentation, Japanese motifs, and ambient sounds, to get the immersive underwater effect we've come to expect from artists like Atlas Sound and Balam Acab. Here, Luebs is a percussionist as well as producer. Psychedelic synths and snippets of distant voices go off on trippy tangents which, if they weren't anchored by a beat, could float away into unmapped space. "Bossanova Groove" provides a moment of clarity, but most tracks — especially the dreamy "Supermoon Crashed" and "Via Elysian Fields" — tend toward woozy. It's experimental, but it's captivating — sometimes, you just need to get away.
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