A Random Man in a Top Hat Wanted to Stab Slow Magic Last Time He Was in Miami

Your imaginary friend Slow Magic loves playing Bardot so much that not even the threat of a shanking can scare him away.

"There was this guy who was dressed up with a top hat and was really weird," the mysterious masked man remembers of his last trip to the lounge. "I was carrying some stuff out and was on my way back in, and this guy was making a beeline right toward me. I kind of moved, and he pushed me, like ran into me, and then he grabbed me and held his fist back. I don't know if he had a weapon or what, but he was like, 'I'm gonna stick you, I'm gonna stick you.' In my own head I was like, 'I'm gonna get stabbed at my own show.' "

After realizing the dude in the top hat didn't want a hug or an autograph, the tour manager wrestled the aggressor away. Though the knife never materialized, it sure was spooky.

But Slow Magic can't wait to be back.

"I don't want to paint Bardot in a bad light, because I know they have good security," he says. "It is a great venue. I love playing there."

It's an especially weird story, because listening to Slow Magic's dream-weaving poptronica is the opposite of a violent or angry experience. When Slow Magic plays, he casts a spell. His neon mask, some kind of fanciful mix between a bear and a deer, bounces and glows behind the array of electronic instruments. When he drums, his movements are large and captivating, like an ancient tribal dance.

Likewise, the project is all about inclusion. Whether he turns his MPC around to let the front row create a beat or he takes his drums deep into the crowd, Slow Magic makes sure the audience is part of the show. In that sense, Bardot, the stageless Wynwood lounge, is almost tailor-made for the performance.

"Bardot is just there on the floor with everyone, which helps make it even more intimate," he says. "When everything's going right, it does kind of feel like everyone in the room is transported to — not even a different place, but this feeling of freedom and beauty. Not to sound too crazy myself — it's just a really cool feeling that I can't really describe."

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In his own words, "Slow" is representative of the tedious perfectionism that he brings to the studio. The "Magic" is the music itself, the beauty of sharing it with others and the emotional power it wields.

"I think that relates to a lot of things," he says, "Love is a 'slow magic' when it's right. Pretty much anything that's really, really great never happens quickly."

The mask he wears is about removing one's everyday self and worries from the equation, leaving room for a certain air of fantasy to take hold. Slow Magic and his music remind us busy adults to let loose and play pretend.

"Slow Magic is an outgoing imaginary person," he says. "These few songs that I started with, I just thought they belonged somewhere else. They weren't necessarily me in a city playing music there. They were more universal feelings. It was a thought like, What if we all had this imaginary friend who's making music and there's a connection there? What if your imaginary friend had something to offer, something tangible?"

The concept strengthens with each release, of which there have been two albums, a string of remixes, and most recently a collaboration with Giraffage called "So Cute." It's in support of this latest tune that he's currently touring, but he promises a new album is in the works.

"The slow part is happening now," he says, "although 'slow' is relative in this modern media world. It won't be that long hopefully."

If you're growing impatient, just head to Bardot Friday to watch Slow Magic bring his powerful fantasy to life.

"Come to the show ready to dance," he says, "but don't bring any knives."

Slow Magic With Daktyl. 10 p.m. Friday, November 13, at Bardot, 3456 N Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-5570; bardotmiami.com. Tickets cost $15 to $20 via showclix.com. Ages 21 and up.

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