Computer Magic

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Computer Magic
Computer Magic
Performing at WWW club in Tokyo, Japan, in February 2016.
Background information
Birth nameDanielle Johnson
Also known asDanz
Born (1989-02-20) 20 February 1989 (age 30)
Rock Hill, New York[1]
GenresSynthpop, indie rock, electronic, experimental
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • composer
InstrumentsSynthesizer, vocal, bass synth, drum machine, programming
Years active2010-present
LabelsKitsuné, Channel 9 Records, P-Vine Records, Tugboat Records
Associated actsCody & Danz
Websitehttp://thecomputermagic.com

Computer Magic is the solo-project of the American musician and producer Danielle Johnson, also referred to by her alias, Danz, based in New York City. She is the singer, writer, composer, and the producer for Computer Magic. She also composes music for commercials, specifically for Japanese brands. [2]

Her musical influences include Gary Numan, Broadcast, Radiohead, New Order, Giorgio Moroder, Stereolab, the genres New Wave, Italo Disco, and Krautrock.[3] She also lists the sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, and the films Barbarella and Logan's Run as further influences.[4][1][5][6]

Her music has been described as otherworldly cosmic-pop.[7] She has maintained success in Japan and has gained a cult following in the United States.[8][9] Attracting sci-fi enthusiasts, she often performs or takes press photos in space suits with backdrops reminiscent of NASA base camps.[10] She is a self-described analog synthesizer enthusiast.[3] In 2018, she was featured in the artist spotlight by Dave Smith and Sequential for using the Prophet 6 analog desktop synthesizer module.[11].

Beginnings[edit]

Johnson was born and raised in the Catskills in both Woodridge and Rock Hill, New York. She started her own music blog at the age of 15.[2][12] At the age of 18, she moved to New York City to attend Hunter College and became a DJ at places such as the Tribeca Grand Hotel (now The Roxy Hotel) and The Annex.[10][13]

She started producing music at her mother's house in Tampa while on a break from New York City.[5] She has said that she discovered there that she could write music entirely by ear. She taught herself how to write and produce songs over the course of six months, afterwards returning to New York City to pursue a career in music.[14]

The name Computer Magic is derived from a quote by Viv Savage in This Is Spinal Tap: "Quite exciting this computer magic!".[15]

Music[edit]

Since 2010, Computer Magic has released nine EPs and three LPs, most of them self-produced and either self-released or on her own record label, Channel 9 Records with Kobalt Label Services. She has also released six full length records in Japan with P-Vine and Tugboat Records.[16]

A number of Computer Magic's songs are released for free at first, giving fans a chance to download them before they go on digital sale on iTunes. About this, Danz has said, "The more people that have your music and enjoy it the better."[15]

A song she wrote and produced herself, "Running (Hiding Version)", was used in two separate television commercials for Aria Resort and Casino and Lexus.[17]

Davos[edit]

Computer Magic released her first LP, Davos, on October 16, 2015, with her own record label in the US and in Japan with Tugboat and P-Vine Records.

She recorded the songs with Claudius Mittendorfer over the course of two years in New York.[8] The title Davos is a homage to a now-decrepit ski resort where Johnson grew up in upstate New York, where her father worked and still resides, although the ski resort closed when Johnson was 3 years old.[8][18]

Danz in the Fuzz music video.

The video for the first single from the album, "Be Fair", shows Danz in a space crash that was filmed in Trona Pinnacles.[18] The video for the second single, "Fuzz", shows Danz in dramatic futuristic wardrobe, through which she splits her time between light and dark roles.[19]

Japan[edit]

She has released seven full-length records in Japan with Tugboat Records and P-Vine Records. Many of the Japanese versions include bonus tracks specifically for that territory. Her first Japanese release, Scientific Experience, debuted at #5 on the iTunes Japanese Electronic Music Chart.[20] Her 2015 release "Mindstate" debuted at #1 on the iTunes Japanese Electronic Music Chart.[21]

Commercial work[edit]

Johnson has composed numerous songs for commercials in Japan for companies such as Panasonic, Body Mainte, and two separate commercials for QP Half and QP Sesame Dressing.[22]

She has modeled clothes for Sofia Coppola's Japanese clothing company Milkfed[23] and in 2017 was in the fall catalog for the skate clothing brand X-Girl, founded by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon in the 1990s.[24]

Channel 9 Records[edit]

In 2015, she started her own record label, Channel 9 Records, to release her own music on limited edition vinyls and cassettes.[25]

Cody & Danz[edit]

In June 2017, Danz announced a collaborative EP with the musician Cody Crump titled Only The Hits.[26] The EP was released on July 14, 2017, by Channel 9 Records digitally and on a limited edition cassette.[27]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Davos (2015)
  • Danz (2018)

EPs[edit]

  • Hiding From Our Time (2010)
  • Hiding From More of Our Time (2010)
  • Electronic Fences (2011) [vinyl + digital]
  • Spectronic (2011)
  • Kitsuné:Orion (2012)
  • A Million Years / Another Science (2013) [vinyl + digital]
  • Extra Stuff (2014) [vinyl + digital]
  • Dreams of Better Days (2015)
  • Obscure But Visible (2016) [vinyl + digital + CD]

Compilations[edit]

  • Super Rare (2017)

Japan-exclusive releases[edit]

  • Scientific Experience (2012)
  • Phonetics (2013)
  • Mindstate (2015)
  • Davos (Japan Edition) (2015)
  • Danz (Japan Edition) (2018)
  • Super Rare (Japan Edition) (2018)

Music videos[edit]

  • "The End of Time" (2011)
  • "Trinity" (2012)
  • "A Million Years" (2013)
  • "Moving Forward" (2013)
  • "All I Ever Wanted" (2014)
  • "Mindstate" (2015)
  • "Be Fair" (2015)
  • "Hudson" (2015)
  • "Fuzz" (2016)
  • "Dimensions" (2016)
  • "Been Waiting" (2017)
  • "Amnesia" (2018)
  • "Clouds" (2018)
  • "Perfect Game" (2018)
  • "Suspicious Minds" (2019)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stereogum "Band to Watch" July 1, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2013
  2. ^ a b De Los Angeles, Kim "Biography - Official Site" March 3, 2015
  3. ^ a b "Bio: Computer Magic" Retrieved January 22, 2019
  4. ^ Patrick, Bob "Interview with Computer Magic" May 19, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016
    - "Computer Magic Interview", The Seventh Hex, September 24, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Cihak, Izzy "Interview: Computer Magic's Sugar-Coated, Sonic Science Fiction" April 6, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013
  6. ^ "Interview: Computer Magic's Sugar-Coated, Sonic Science Fiction" April 6, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013
  7. ^ Golden, Zara "Computer Magic Shares Tone Setting Second Single, Fuzz", The Fader, October 16, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
    - Robbins Jr., David D. "Computer Magic - Shipwrecking" February 6, 2016
  8. ^ a b c Alice Newell-Hanson, "computer magic’s sci-fi synth pop is already big in japan" i-D, November 5, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Stratosphere, Jen "Audio Premiere: "Change My Mind (Computer Magic Remix) - Stone Cold Fox", Wonderland, March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Rosenaweig, Mathias, "Computer Magic’s Danielle Johnson Breaks the Glass Ceiling for Female Producers" October 23, 2016
  11. ^ "In the Spotlight with the Prophet 6", Sequential. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  12. ^ Johnson, Andy "Interview: Computer Magic", January 18, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  13. ^ Last.FM "Bio"
  14. ^ Stratosphere, Jen "Q&A with Computer Magic" April 12, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
    - " Retrieved August 8th 2013
  15. ^ a b Raven + Crow Studio " February 18, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  16. ^ P-Vine "P-Vine Artist Bio" November 23, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
    - "Website bio", October 25,
  17. ^ "Lexus International Strobe - Ad Break Anthems" July 15, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
    - "Aria Hotel and Casino 'Flowers'" May 25, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Milk PREMIERE: BLAST INTO SPACE W/ COMPUTER MAGIC'S NEW VID", Made Music , August 8, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  19. ^ Made Music "Computer Magic - Fuzz", Stereogum, February 23, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  20. ^ "Scientific Experience debut at #5" December 20, 2012, Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  21. ^ "Mindstate Japanese Release" January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  22. ^ "Public Rhythm - Computer MagicがPanasonicのCMソングを書き下ろし" August 8, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
    - "Official Site - QP Commercial in Japan" December 8, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  23. ^ "Computer MagicがアパレルブランドMILKFED.の2013 HOLIDAYアンバサダーに就任!!" October 28, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "X-Girl 2017 Fall Lookbook" September 11, 2017
  25. ^ "Channel 9 Records website bio" October 26, 2017
  26. ^ "Take a first look at Cody & Danz's "Make it in America"". Earmilk. June 29, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  27. ^ "Computer Magic and Cody Crump stream collab EP Only The Hits". Retrieved July 29, 2017.
    - "Cody & Danz - Only The Hits Cassette Tape". January 23, 2019.

External links[edit]