on July 1, 2015
Photo by Computer Magic

Photo by Computer Magic

Washed-out disco and synth are in, and Computer Magic, the solo project of 21-year-old DJ and blogger Danielle Johnson, is certainly following in the trend.

Johnson, who goes by Danz, was born and raised in the Catskills in Upstate New York, she then moved to New York’s Chinatown to attend Hunter College. She started her own music blog at the age of 15 and became a DJ in New York City at the age of 18, at places such as the Tribeca Grand Hotel and The Annex. It was while on hiatus from school and city-life at her mother’s house in Tampa, FL that she taught herself how to make music.

The music she makes is bedroom electronic pop–it feels whimsical and ethereal. Danz’s vocals range from Debbie Harry to the simplistic quality of the Human League girls, tied with the melody and perkiness of Altered Images. Danz is able to perfectly create layer upon layer of wistfully lo-fi electronic melodies and beats that she then adds her vacant coos over, the result of which is something to get excited about. Think MGMT meets Best Coast, the type of music the manic-pixie dream girl and coked-out hipster chick are listening to, and the music Sofia Coppola would have in one of her angsty-teenage-girl coming-of-age-films.

Danz is a cyber-dreamer with real life musicality, and the combination of her and her laptop is true “computer magic.” She’s released three self-produced free EPs in 2011 and in 2012, released the Kitsuné:Orion EP with French label Kitsune. Her first full-length record, produced by Claudius Mittendorfer, will be released in Fall 2015. Her music is synth-pop revisited: it feels simple, but it’s not dumb–it’s 60’s bubblegum pop meets 80’s new wave, and while listening to it you won’t be sure whether it was recorded 20 years ago or 20 years into the future. »

– Samantha Lopez

Computer Magic plays live in Portland July 16 at Mississippi Studios

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