Here We Go Magic CD - Western Vinyl

Indie folk-popper Luke Temple, following up a fine 2007 EP under his own name, adopts a pseudonym for his second full-length. While not entirely abandoning his earlier folk tendencies, Temple has reduced their significance in his work, threading the tunes here with no more than subtle traces. Rather, what Here We Go Magic trades in is an alternate eighties universe, a time and place where western pop stars turned to less obvious corners of the musical world - typically, as here, Africa - for inspiration, in the unending search for the next big thing. Most of this recording is the sole effort of Temple, only closer "Everything's Big," which sticks out as something of an afterthought on this disc, sees a band arrangement. Big in ideas and ambition, there is a dreamy intimacy to Here We Go Magic. So then, while redolent of the kind of DIY esthetic that can only speak of a post-nineties pop, the songs here will sound oddly familiar to those acquainted with Paul Simon's Afrobeat excursions, and even more so to fans of Talking Heads, just before they ended their romance with Brian Eno. In fact, in a very natural sense, Here We Go Magic sounds to me like the follow-up to Remain in Light that the Heads never really produced. Oh, much more subtle, to be sure; nothing of Adrian Belew's guitar antics fly out of left field to jar the listener. Temple has filtered Eno and Byrne's fascination with polyrhythmic exotica through Eno's fine-mesh ambient eye (refer to "Nat's Alien"). With its hazy processed guitar washes, "Ghost List" is an obvious nod to My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Yet, for all the references, the propensity for layered repetition and beds of trance-inducing rhythmic mantra which are evident on "Ahab" (an inventive collision of funk and art-pop) and "Fangela" - the two strongest cuts here, Here We Go Magic cull fresh appreciation from the old marriage between our and other worlds.

By Michael Meade



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