Video killed the radio star, then reality TV killed MTV, then social media killed the internet. Well, it’s back, all that. Kind of. The Game Boy Advance will save us. And that brings us back to a retro Asheville chillwave from the more innocent age of 2012.
If you’ve been following the glo-fi-post-vaporwave or what I’ll just call “extreme North Carolina chill,” you might already be familiar with the syrupy goodness of Slow Magic. Otherwise, it’s irresistibly pretty tunes, like a gentle summer swim in a lake – blurry, but also delightfully produced. And there’s an easy temptation to wrap it all up in gauze and effects and call it a day. I might just project here, actually. It’s good.
The first ▲ — yeah, an upward-facing triangle — just turned ten, so there’s a documentary version.
And Slow Magic joins the trend to be released on Game Boy Advance, but adding video clips here. There’s something oddly enchanting about watching this lo-fi version instead of the usual HD streaming version. It’s enchanting enough to even go through watching this video on YouTube, the meta as I come to realize it.
I also like the authentic Game Boy packaging. For GBA nerds, Slow Magic has an immaculate collection of gear and mods:
It’s funny to see all the GBA models adopted – chip musicians had some very strong opinions on the audio output of some 2000s models.
But yeah, that’s the American side of things – whereas in Germany Remute is all over the place in various game formats, GBA included. You might even call it a comeback.
What interests me is that there’s tons of interest in this kind of physical release from the gaming world. For collectors in this crowd, these formats make immediate sense. (I picked this up on an obsessive feature on Nintendo Life.)
Slow Magic also offers PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast bootable discs:
So it doesn’t even have to have any special meaning to typical music fans and their formats. It brings the music into an entirely different audience. I was going to contrast this with NFTs, but in reality, it’s a mirror version of the same phenomenon – a music release in a new format that then attracts an audience that collects that format outside of the typical music fan base.
Whether the GBA carts appeal to you or not, there is also a documentary on this first album:
If you prefer your usual viewing configuration, it’s here: