Stephen Fassano is The Magician, he used to be a part of Aeroplane. If you already knew that, apologies ;-). The Magician has already been capturing the imaginations of many music fans with his Magic Tapes, his first remix under the name is out shortly (you can hear that in a second) and he’s been busy working away on original material. We had a chance to find out more about his plans…. read away!
The Magician? Where did the name come from? What made you decide on it?
It’s actually my girlfriend who found the name. She thinks that for some reasons i’m a magic man…. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure with that name because that could be a bit pretentious to be called “The Magician” especially after the Aeroplane split. But after reflecting my “second level of humor” approved it. Then, all the story came out of my mind… We made the character live!
Does The Magician have an assistant?
I have two “assistants” actually. A guy from Ghent in Belgium is working with me for the production. He knows everything about old synths, how to find good drums, a special reverb,.. etc.. For the global image, my girlfriend Julie is working with me.
You have a history of being a DJ even before Aeroplane, how did all start? What does DJ’ing mean to you?
I’ve started by recording radio shows around 1988, it was the New Beat clash in Belgium! In the same time, I’ve got the disco records collection from my Uncle (he was dj in the late 70’s and early 80’s). So, I’ve started to make my very first mixtapes mixing disco with new beat and house music with 2 turntables Lenco L75 and a TEAC double deck K7. I was doing that for friends and playing for private parties. In parallel, almost every weekend I was going out to the most Belgian clubs, I wasn’t a “real clubber” I preferred to see how the people were dressed, how they danced, and of course the djs!
Around 1995, I’ve got a request to play in a small bar in Belgium. There I learnt the most and I met people who changed my life the following years… At this place, I started to play from 9pm until 6am every Saturday while 2 years and alone! I was playing all genres! from Acid Jazz to Trip-Hop to Big Beat to Classic Disco to Deep House to Electro.. even some Drum & Bass! DJing is for me all about sharing music, discovering, making people dance and having a good time.
What is the track you ALWAYS bring with you when you DJ?
Crystal Waters “Gypsy Woman”.
We have also heard that The Magician has a side-line in making cloaks (fashion design) can you tell us more about that?
Julie and me put our common ideas to design what I’m wearing for The Magician. We designed shirts and a costume. Then a Belgian label made it. Now we are working on something else for friends and people…
Who drew the picture you have on your myspace? It’s pretty cool!
It’s a collaboration between a young Belgian Illustrator and me. She’s open minded, and with whom it’s a pleasure to work because she realizes exactly what I ask for. Still at school and doing an internship at Matthew Williamson in London. She specializes in precision drawings.
You are working with Yuksek? How did the come about and what are the plans?
We talked at Calvi On The Rocks festival this summer about making music together; Recently, I’ve been to his studio in France, we’ve put our common ideas and we made a track. We’re both happy with the result so I’ll go back soon to make a second one! The plan is doing an EP, Yuksek and The Magician presents…
You decided to leave Aeroplane mainly because you and Vito were going to different directions. So, what is your direction? What The Magician sound?
Going to different directions weren’t only the main reason about the split. I would say my musical direction is still the same as I made to Aeroplane. With Aeroplane, Vito and I put our ideas together. Now with The Magician, it’s mine 100%. It is mainly 80’s influenced. From italo disco to new wave to synth pop to piano house to new beat.
I think it was quite a brave thing to do that you left Aeroplane while it was getting more and more attention. Are you annoyed by that at all?
It became unbearable for both.. so we decided that one of us should leave. As Vito has been more involved in the studio with the album, we were both agreed that he should continue the Aeroplane story on his own. When we took the decision to split I knew that it could have been difficult to see all the focus on Aeroplane via internet and press. So, sometimes it’s a weird feeling. Now, I have my own project which has given me lots of enthusiasm! After all, it’s better like that for our psyche, each one on his own.
Will you and Vito ever work together again?
I don’t think so. Or if one day it happens, it will be in a totally different way than we worked before. I will never be involved in the Aeroplane project again, I’m pretty sure of that.
What are you plans for next year or is there something you would like to try and do next year?
My goal is doing an album. I have lots of demos that i made this summer but planning to release something for next year is too short.. I want to take the time. The plan is first releasing some a few tracks and remixes.
Have you found any new artists that you’ve been checking recently? Can you recommend some to us?
Herr Styler, Drop Out Orchestra, Games, The Living Islands, Mickey, Midnight Savari,…
Favourite albums this year?
Twin Shadow “Forget”, Gonzales : “Ivory Tower”, Deerhunter “Halcyon Digest”, Sufjan Stevens “The Age Of Adz”, Ariel Pink Haunted Graffiti “Before Today”.
What do you prefer, a spy car that flies or a spy car that goes underwater?
A spy car that flies! I’m a bit scared about going underwater.