New York based trio Young Magic over the past 12 months have slowly crept upon our musical headlights. Made up of two Australians – Isaac Emmanuel and Michael Italia – and Indonesian born, Melati Malay; this well travelled group of individuals have come together to create a sound that has been described as one of invention and intrigue.

I caught up with Isaac in a hive of media activity mere weeks before his bands debut release.

Isaac and Melati had collaborated as early as 2010 on future 12” release ‘Sparkly’, but both parted ways for a year as Isaac describes ‘on our own personal adventures’. Isaac goes on to explain how they finally came together permanently, "when we got back to New York, I heard the music Michael had been recording in Argentina and Brazil and the music Melati had been working on and it all seemed to come from a similar place." It didn’t all fit together immediately though saying "only now does it feel like it’s settling and becoming more of a band and not just three solo projects."

Travelling has been a major part of the trio’s life, Isaac hadn’t really explored much and thought the opportunity to mix exploration with music creation was too good to miss saying, "music and travel seem to give to each other like an endless feedback loop." Not wanting to stop recording whilst travelling the world he utilised a microphone and his laptop as "an experiment and a challenge, an improvisation." Going on to detail his time spent house sitting a secluded house, high in the mountains in Tepoztlán, Mexico. Suitably called La Casa En Las Nubes or, ‘House In the Clouds’, it was to be a place that helped influence Melt and push the record down "those percussive and textural paths." He explains, "the area is steeped in history and mythology with an Aztec temple overlooking from the mountains near the house." Spending his time there working on the record and working on the nearby farm, meeting people that you would never find together anywhere else in the world; "a Yugoslavian shaman, a hash dealer and an expat National Geographic photographer," all helping in parts to influence Isaac and later Young Magic’s musical output.

Whilst obviously not one of those types that has a slight cultish affair with the outside world, he does take a heavy dose of inspiration from the trees and the green grass, especially since he set up shop in the mega metropolis of New York City. "Nature is an infinite inspiration and a life-blood, every experience to escape to some green or water gives me something so nourishing it’s way beyond any language." Added to the usual influences from admired creatives, Young Magic are certainly portraying themselves as an interesting and eclectic bunch. With such an expansive and experimental sound, I quizzed Isaac on whether it has been purely influenced from stuff he likes or a natural progression that has taken a life of its own. And, his answer gives the impression that whilst he cares deeply about things that have come before him, "there has been a lot of new music, and a history of music which seems like a bottomless well of beauty and fantastic creativity to which there is no end," that he is like many of us in this life, simply experimenting and having fun or, as I like to call it, winging it, "this project was born from a summer when I first bought a computer, so a huge part of it is totally blind and naïve improvisation, with no fucking idea what I’m doing."

Young Magic’s music then, while in parts otherworldly is being produced with love, fun and barrels of creativity. Isaac admits that at first he wasn’t even sure if anyone would ever hear his material, explaining, "it was just a way to put the feeling of the time out into the world – to learn how to get these sounds out of my head." Modestly, he finds the idea of people hearing and commenting on his music a strange experience and it’s this innocence, which adds to a record that has that certain quality to turn any dreary landscape into one full of colour and prosperity.

Upon Melt’s release, whilst any environment is good, Isaac advises what may be preferable, "maybe if you’re home, in bed with someone close tucked in under your arm in a cloud of hashish smoke with some nice headphones turned up louder than they should be." Whilst I may not be partaking in the hashish part, I’ll be making sure all those other boxes are ticked.

Although no tour dates other than a slot at The Great Escape Festival in May, we expect the band to add a few dates to their diary while on these shores.


Melt is out now via Carpark Records. You can read our review of the album here.