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Dave Swensen - Direct Magic

by Dave Swensen

San Antonio-based audio-visual artist Dave Swensen works in ellipses and counter-intuitive movements that seem to exist outside of our collective expectations. Revolving around repetitive motions and simple but emotionally responsive drones, his songs take on a life beyond their modest synthetic origins. On his most recent release Direct Magic, he takes small but meticulous details and expands them in a series of world-building rhythmic experiments. Whether he begins with a simple pinging synth or something more expansive, his work is immersive and quickly binds your head in a fog of electronic nuance and spiraling melodies.

Repetition is at the heart of Direct Magic, but it’s not the sort that only leaves a vague memory of sustained noise or barely thought out rhythms. Swensen uses the idea of repetition to conjure images through the repeated cycling of various minimalist tones and patterns. He works within a complete electronic and emotional spectrum, where subtle variations in sound can ignite massive revelations. Despite their unexpected appearances, the songs on Direct Magic evolve and gradually form a cogent narrative, but what that narrative resolves into is completely up to the individual experiencing the music. It becomes completely subjective, as all great art tends to be