Track Review: Jordan MacKampa: Magic

‘Putting an energetic spell on you right from the start, it’s a soulful track that truly lives up to it’s name!’

Intro to Jordan MacKampa
Releasing consistently strong tracks since his debut ‘Same Faces’ in 2016, and possessing a soulful voice that is hard to resist, it’s little wonder that Jordan MacKampa has had so much success to date. Gaining acclaim from key parts of the industry, featuring on numerous curated playlists and having his 2017 release Battlecry used on TV there is no shortage of evidence. Likewise, whether it’s original tracks or covers, his tone is one that brings energy, warmth and subtlety at all the right moments. If you want proof of the latter, take a listen to the way he delivers his version of ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ on The Dis-cover-ies Playlist. However, if you want evidence of the former, then look no further than his latest release. Entitled magic, it puts an energetic spell on you right from the start.

Track Review
Starting with an audible stick click count in, there is immediately a sense of live experience about this latest track from Jordan. Is it in a studio? Or is it a live performance? It could of course be a combination. Whichever it is though, the atmosphere is one of pure joy and with the first of numerous vocal hooks making its presence known above dominating, rhythmical hand claps and lightly strummed chords, you really do feel that Jordan and his fellow musicians really are having a great time.

Having generated the perfect sensations that you want from a track that’s called Magic, with the emergence of full lyrics we are guided through a journey that’s as soulful as can be. Delivering the line of ‘Don’t know what it is, you’ve got control of me,’ you instantly get an inferred sense of musical cheekiness. Why? Well because while Jordan may not know, it’s most definitely the track is taken control of us. And as the verse continues, it never lets us go. Now transferred to delicate bass, that opening vocal hook is just as infectious and combined with the greater emergence of previously buried guitar, the perfect setting for the warm energy offered by the vocal tone is formed.

Shifting slightly in sound, on reaching the pre-chorus the existing instrumental elements are joined by additional lines. Each one sublime and as strong as the other, the atmosphere is transformed. Becoming freedom filled, syncopated horn accents deliver lightness and cross-rhythmic emphasis, while backing vocals bring a resurgence of that opening effortless hook. It really is a truly wonderful sound and developing beautifully as we head into the main chorus, the sound continues to deliver. 

Built around the gospel like setting of the phrase, ‘Can’t get enough of your loving baby,’ the variations alongside a much sparser accompaniment make you want to leap up and join in with the ever-present fun. Equally, while the ever-present hook remains, a further one – one that is a stroke of musical genius – is to join the party. Much longer than most hooks, not to mention incredibly complex, it beat shifts against the already syncopated accompaniment in a way that you might feel is impossible to become an earworm. But trust me, even with the unpredictability it contains, it becomes one instantly.

Changing in atmosphere once more, as we head through the second verse a much lighter, shaker infused texture is formed. Filled with musical delicacy, it’s an effortlessly tasty sound and with Jordan’s vocals delivering playful falsetto harmonies, you can’t help but be taken over by the track. However, as if this wasn’t enough encouragement, the call and response set phrase of ‘It must be magic, cause I’m under your spell’ should push those already engaged over the edge. If possible though, restrain yourself for a few more seconds.

Exiting the more developed pre-chorus, the full chorus this time takes on a guise that makes the former version feel like nothing. This though only serves as evidence of how strong the entire track and Jordan’s songwriting is. With backing vocals now perfectly imitating picked bass – to an almost tongue-in-cheek extent – it could easily work as an a capella section. However, rather stripping it back, more sustained horn counter-melodies emerge this time round meaning that for all the best reasons, you don’t know what to tune into the most.

Ensuring that this wonderous display continues right to the end, further demonstrating the playful nature of the track – and following the chorus resurgence – we head at full force into multiple musical breakdowns. Switching between the relaxed atmospheres and those with full purpose, cheer-filled, foot-tap inducing guitar provides free-form accompaniment in what is the most acoustic sound we experience. But signalling yet another energetically soulful resurgence, staggered re-entries hint at the rebuilding that is soon to follow. And what a rebuild it is. Turning into a full-on, celebratory atmosphere it becomes a track that, in the words of Jordan ‘you can’t get enough of.’

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