Marc Rigelsford aka Magic Arm has been championed by a lot of big hitters in the last year. Huw Stephens regularly features Magic Arm on his Radio 1 show, and no less an authority than Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine has been spreading the word.
Following on from last year’s Outdoor Games EP, and as a precursor to the eagerly awaited full-length Widths And Heights (due in July on last report), comes this five-track EP.
The Magic Arm EP is bookended by two versions of the title track. The opening version features all that is great about Rigelsford. A riot of electronic bleeps and squelches fighting for space alongside an urgent vocal that weaves non-sequiturs.
The second version is an amped up remix by fellow Mancunians The Real Dolls that serves as a neat and club-friendly counterpoint to the original. In between, Rigelsford give further evidence of his multi-instrumental skills and mastery of various musical genres.
My My is a playful instrumental that tips a wink to Rigelsford’s love of French chanson (he regularly covers Serge Gainsbourg‘s Ballad De Melody Nelson at live shows).
Said Things is reminiscent of early Badly Drawn Boy back before the quest for pop glory stripped the magic from Damon Gough’s music. The way the layers of the song are gradually revealed provides further evidence of why Rigelsford is so highly rated.
His stripped down version of LCD Soundsystem‘s Daft Punk Is Playing At My House could have been a curio but manages to invest the song with an emotional clout missing from the (admittedly excellent) original.
Magic Arm serves as an excellent introduction to Rigelsford’s musical fairground ride for those who missed Outdoor Games. Expect the hype to grow this year.