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The Magic Place [CD]

Julianna Barwick Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 9.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
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Image of album by Julianna Barwick


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Henry James once wrote: "It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance... and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process."

Julianna Barwick's art is equal parts force and beauty. Her music finds its motor in significant events in her own life, but they are abstracted into a sense of sonic wonderment, a radiance that you could say ... Read more in Amazon's Julianna Barwick Store

Visit Amazon's Julianna Barwick Store
for 3 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

The Magic Place + Nepenthe + Ekstasis
Price For All Three: 33.55

Buy the selected items together
  • Nepenthe 9.25
  • Ekstasis 14.79

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records
  • ASIN: B004DPHVM8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,029 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Envelop 5:390.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Keep Up the Good Work 4:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Magic Place 3:510.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Cloak 4:050.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. White Flag 4:530.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Vow 4:390.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Bob In Your Gait 4:030.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Prizewinning 6:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Flown 5:040.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

An opener so often says so much about the record that’s yet to unfold. Straight Outta Compton: bang, get it. Holidays in the Sun: a steel toecap to the teeth. Julianna Barwick’s second album begins with a song called Envelop. No arguments here, as it does exactly that.

You might not call it a song, as such – it’s a looped vocal drone atop more looped vocals, atop more of the same, the layers building across the first two minutes before another, alien element comes into focus and begins buzzing with no little menace. But it’s a menace kept at arm’s length by the gorgeous foundation laid by this Brooklyn-based artist. Whenever darkness dares to show itself across these nine pieces, there’s always something sparkling to ensure it doesn’t choke the life from any arrangement. Melancholy can weigh heavy in the background, but these atmospheres – equals of Eno’s beautiful ambient passages – are so delicately assembled and so wonderfully blessed by the tiniest subtleties that they convey an intimacy so powerful that listener and record fuse, allowing no space for negativity to fester.

Although words are rarely key to proceedings, there’s no doubt Barwick is a fine singer, and the shapes she creates with voice alone are suitably magic. Intricacies are paramount; grand designs merely a by-product of so much macro-analysis. But while Barwick utilises technology to bring her sonic visions to life – if ever you might experience synaesthesia, colours across the eyes spurred only by sound, it will be to fare like this – it’d be wrong to bracket this as a studious affair. That implies a detachment from the human heart, when The Magic Place is absolutely born of thick, glutinous emotions that are carried for whole lifetimes. The title refers to a tree on the Louisiana farm where Barwick grew up, and this record both conveys the memory of retreat to such surrounds and also seems to delve into the listener’s own past, pulling up all manner of forgotten experiences.

The Magic Place, splendidly, isolates the listener, cuts them off from the world around them. It does – pardon the cliché – exactly what is promised on the tin by that first track: it envelops, entirely. So if it’s a little disconnect from hullabaloo that you’re needing, slide into Barwick’s sublime soundworld and immerse yourself for the duration. It’s unlikely you’ll want to come up for air the whole time. And if anyone mentions Enya while this is on, feel free to chastise them with Sex Pistols force.

--Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (2011): 14 May 2011
By Leicester Bangs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty)
Louisiana-born New Yorker Julianna Barwick's second record sounds like it could have been released on the 4ad label back in the early 1980s. Instant reference points are Cocteau Twins and Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares, though there's nothing here that approaches a 'song'. Instead vocals are looped and layered over drones and sighs, almost entirely the product of Barwick's vocal chords and something called a Loop Station. When other instruments are recognized, it's invariably a piano, gently and slowly finding a path through the archaic chants, or a lonely bass echoing the depth of natural sound. Haunting, ethereal and quite magical.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ethereal - the real deal 29 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
so, one could call her the indie enya...let's just say she is making brave and interesting new music. at its best, it's sublime with so much space. "prizewinning" is just a gorgeous track and you can dance to it too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lush dreamy one-woman choral 13 Jun 2011
By caro c
Format:Audio CD
lush dreamy ethereal album from this Brooklyn based lady. it ebbs and flows, emanating gentle choral arrangements with a contemporary twist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very very chilled... 20 April 2013
By Humpf
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
it does take a few listens to appreciate though, so give it some time to sink in. Well worth it
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT SURE 26 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD
Strange but beautiful album,not sure if i would recomend though, Nice background music if your chilling out.Haunting and melodic worth a purchase if below a fiver.
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