Thank You is sort of like the very first physical page of a novel, the space usually reserved for dedications, recognitions, and “thank you to’s.” Only difference is, here, that’s all we’re going to do. Don’t worry though, it’ll be fun. There’s pictures, a few stories, some music, maybe a video or two, and some more pictures, which is pretty much all any 21st century person needs.
Computer Magic is a gift. It’s a dreamy atmosphere delicately laced around electronic taps and thumps. It’s kind of romantic and sometimes a bit deadpan, but it’s all good. The music comes from Danz, a DJ, model, graphic designer, and singer born and raised in New York. She garnered inspiration for creating her own music while in Florida where she taught herself how to use production software. She’s left her mark in Japan and she’s been uploading music to her Soundcloud since I can remember. ‘My Love’ is the newest song from Danz. It’s a free download, so make sure you get it ASAP!
I was slipping in and out of consciousness when I encountered Computer Magic for the first time. I had just reconnected with a childhood friend on Facebook. She was in San Diego. I was in Vegas. Both of us had class tomorrow, but we hadn’t talked in 7 years, so that didn’t really matter. Our reunion also became the single longest conversation either of us ever had. We talked on Skype to the point where we weren’t making any sense, like drunken fools, deep into the night, we chewed the fat until god ray’s began shooting through the cracks of my curtains. I can barely remember the scene that morning in between my heavy, droopy eyelids. Nothing feels real when you’re that tired.
‘About You’ by Computer Magic started playing on Soundcloud. That initial “ahh ahh ahh” injected me with a pink puffy serum. I could see the sweet mist begin to dissipate with every breathe. When it got to the part where she goes “I’ve been thinking about you,” I was struck by the relevancy it had to the moment. I was really developing an affinity for this old friend. The song added somewhat of a silliness to the night as well. The “I can’t go on without you” and “I know you don’t care” incited some cheesy back and forth between us. I don’t remember if we were flirting at that point or simply enjoying a really good time, but I don’t think Computer Magic required us to know for sure. Lyrically, the song is romantic, but sonically, because of the rather blunt vocal delivery, it’s a bit funny too. It went well with the idiotic pillow talk. All the digital intimacy, exhaustion, and joy of that moment had been irrevocably captured and stored onto a single mp3 file.
To this day, when I listen to ‘About You,’ I’m there again, tired and happy.
Computer Magic is influenced by a multitude of prolific artists from the past, specifically, music from before the 2000’s, a decade Danz calls “boring.” You can get a good sense of her musical taste through her blog. Nancy Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and Gal Costa are a few of the historic influences that inspire Computer Magic’s nostalgic feel. If you ever felt like Computer Magic reminded you of old video games it’s probably because Danz is familiar with chiptunes from the 90’s like Top Gear’s Theme on the Super Nintendo. She considers the 90’s to be an “underrated decade,” although it seems her most favorite era comes in the form of old sci-fi films from the mid-70’s like Logan’s Run.
She’s covered a few of these past-era songs including ‘Don’t Speak’ by No Doubt, ‘Dreaming’ by Sun Ra, and ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’ by John Lennon. Some more contemporary covers include ‘Take it or Leave it’ by The Strokes and ‘Chamber of Reflection’ by Mac Demarco.
Danz is the genius behind Computer Magic’s electronic wonder. She’s somewhat of a reserved person. In all of her photos, interviews, and music videos, she wears the same facial expression, eyes forward, mouth closed. Her fashion sense is spontaneous with a strong inclination towards over-sized, loosely-fitted sweaters and jackets. Sometimes, if she’s feeling super 70’s sci-fi, she wears an astronaut suit like she did in her music video for ‘The End of Time’ (probably inspired by this scene from ‘Barbarella.’) Her look attracted the attention of famous movie director, Sofia Coppola, who featured Danz in the holiday collection of her Japanese clothing line, Milk Fed.
She doesn’t have an interesting backstory, at least that’s what she says. All the success and notoriety Danz has accumulated in her 4 years “under the moniker Computer Magic” has been seemingly whimsical and random. Her first endeavor into music production in general was done so on a whim, “to see if she could” as she says in an interview at SXSW 2011. It’s this kind of easygoing, somewhat disinterested attitude, and comfortable fashion sense which makes Danz the fucking cool person she is. She follows her instincts.
Below is Computer Magic’s official music video for ‘A Million Years.’ Filmed and Edited by Danz. As a video editor myself, I must say, some of her editing choices are total no no’s, but I bet she felt like it worked when she did it. I think we can all learn from that sort of “follow your heart” attitude. She dances in the video too. Enjoy.