Magic isn't real. At least not in the sense of pulling rabbits out of hats. Or cutting ladies in half.
But music is one of the rare and mysterious mediums in our world that can render man spellbound. With just a melody and a beat, a night can be transformed from mundane to extraordinary, especially when The Magician's in town.
This Belgian DJ-producer has built his name as a tastemaker with his Magic Tapes mix series. Meanwhile, his remixes and original tracks prove he can deal slick tropical grooves and disco-era feels just as easily as he blends them.
We here at Crossfade recently spoke with this conjurer of the impossible to try to learn his tricks.
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Crossfade: You started your career as one-half of Aeroplane. Do you think that experience was helpful when going solo, or did the switch present unexpected challenges?
Aeroplane had been a great time in my career, but I started [my career] way before. I've been into music since the late '80s. However, starting a new project called The Magician after Aeroplane split was a big challenge. My girlfriend helped me a lot. I love new challenges! They keep life exciting.
What effect has going solo had on your creative output?
One mind, one soul. That doesn't mean it's better; it's just different.
By now, The Magician is well-established in the modern dance scene, thanks in large part to your Magic Tape series. What's the greatest challenge in putting those together?
The greatest challenge is to know what will be the next big tracks. If I feature a track in a Magic Tape and it becomes a hit six months later, I'm happy. That happens with some tracks: Kiesza's "Hideway," Watermat's "Bullit," Duke Dumont's "Need U 100%," Route 94's "My Love."
You sometimes include tracks that fans submit to you. What's the coolest track a fan has ever shared?
Perseus' "Russian Girlfriend."
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Your whole musical vibe's got a beachy quality. What drives you toward this kind of laid-back, tropical, fun-loving groove?
Where I live, it's cold and gray. I guess I try to find the opposite side that you feel through my music. Beach is not really an obsession, but sun is.
Speaking of beaches, Miami has some of the best in the world. What are your thoughts on our city and our place in the dance music universe?
I like Miami for some days. The climate is perfect. You got some great hotels, and I'm a fan of the art deco architecture. I love walking on the streets, watching the houses and buildings. Miami is important in the dance music scene because of WMC. I hope I'll come to play for the 2015 edition.
What can your fans in Miami look forward to from your set at Grand Central?
Some of the hottest house tracks at the moment. Some of my tracks and remixes. I also have a new visual made by my art team, Baptiste Alchourroun and Julie Lievens. Then, at the end of the show, I throw my magic wand to the crowd.
I've seen you talk about putting an album together. Is that a project that's still in the works? What other projects are on the horizon?
I was in the studio with Oliver Heldens two weeks ago. We got some ideas together. Yes, I'm working, and I finished some tracks that might work on an album. But before, I need to focus on the single following "Sunlight."
As other projects, I run my own nights called Potion. [I] did one in London, Paris, and Barcelona. I plan to do more in 2015, probably New York, L.A., and Miami for WMC would be great.
But for real, do you know any magic tricks? Is magic real? Do you have any final words for our audience?
A magician never reveals his tricks. Thank you for reading.
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The Magician. Thursday, November 6. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $15 to $20 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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