Strange Magic
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Strange Magic

Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Best Local Album of the Year"

There's a reason The R.a.d.i.o. won last year's Shindig contest and it's not just that the group boasts a psychedelic flavoured indie rock sound and a tambourine player. The band also offers some well-constructed, catchy tunes filtered through plenty of lo-fi equipment and really good LSD. Check out "Numbers, Birds and The Mysteries of The Human Mind" if you don't believe us. - Georgia Straight

"Review-"The Disclosure Project""

The R.a.d.i.o.'s The Disclosure Project is really two seperate 7 song CDs called "In the Beginning" and "The Final Chapter?". Rather than prog-rock (at least the kind that gives me the heebie-jeebies) The R.a.d.i.o. seems to be more inspired by 60's baroque rock, garage-tinged space rock, ironic Japanese pop and early 70's British folk. On "In the Beginning" there is one song, "Skin", which takes elements of Jean-Michel Jarre and Vince Guaraldi (the guy who did the Peanuts music) and throws them together with female Japanes vocals. The second CD feels more
dominated by slow Syd Barrett-flavored and calliope/circus keyboard tracks. The R.a.d.i.o. is this month's pleasant surprise. -Janis McKenzie, Vancouver Special - Discorder Magazine

"Review-"The Disclosure Project""

The R.a.d.i.o.s latest, "The Disclosure Project", is actually two EPs, subtitled "In the Beginning" and "The Final Chapter?" These subtitles would seem to indicate a storyline but I can't detect one. Instead the group offers a collection of songs about robotic cats, anorectics and mindless pleasures. It's all pretty whimsical, but the band's deadpan delivery...makes it more than palatable. The R.a.d.i.o. can be too quirky for its own good, but it has a grasp on songcraft that makes its lapses forgivable. The Disclosure Project's shining moment is "Anorexia", which even if it gives an oddly upbeat spin to a deadly serious topic, boasts a sublimely melodic chorus that I'll be humming for days. - John Lucas - Georgia Straight

"Review- "Music To Hop Trains To""

Not content to do things the conventional or even sane way, those wacky kids in The R.A.D.I.O. have found the resources both creative and financial to record and release a double CD of their twinkly, chiming psychedelic pop. Some of the material, like the Albertan twangathon "The Cowgirl Blues" and the dialed-in-from-the-Twilight Zone"Cabin Fever", will be familiar to listeners who've caught a set by the transplanted Calgarians, while the instrumental "Robotic Jungle" sounds impossible to reproduce live. Surprisingly, with two CDs to to fill, the band is up to the job, although the second disc's reliance on carousal-like rhythms ("The First Day Of Fall", "Doppleganger Blues") verges on the repetitious. Still, the disc offers plenty of choice cuts, including "La Dolce Vita" with it's "Ride My Seesaw" bounce; the lovely "Flowing Infinity"; and the hypnotic "Tune In". Someone give these guys some more cash so they can record with a sympathetic producer like Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev) and spread their signal across the land.
-Shawn Conner - The Georgia Straight

"The R.A.D.I.O. turns on Shindig! judges"

This years Shindig! wrapped up last Wednesday (Dec 15) at the Starfish Room. The venerable local band competition, hosted by CiTR, saw The Maneaters, The R.A.D.I.O., and Bel Riose playing for prize packages that included recording time, promotional materials, and a showcase spot at New Music West 2000. Variety was the theme of the evening, The R.A.D.I.O., a six-piece coed group, played a set of memorably loopy with tambourine, boy/girl harmonies, and 60's pop overtones. Tsawwassen's Bel Riose, a two brother team, followed with loud, muscular, and tight emocore using drums, voice, and acoustic guitar. The Maneaters, a glammed-up four women rock outfit, hit the stage with more shtick than Cher. Though crowd favorites, The Maneaters came in third, with Bel Riose second and The R.A.D.I.O. winning the grand prize. "We were definitely aiming to win, but it didn't feel guaranteed" the R.A.D.I.O.'s singer-guitarist Ray Down told the Straight "It seemed as though any of the bands could have won". Coming out on top at Shindig! is a far cry from the response the three-year old band used to receive in it's hometown of Calgary. "We could be classified as psychedelic because we work on atmosphere and texture, and so people might consider our songs strange," said Down. "Especially in Calgary. Drunk cowboys don't really seem to get that part of it" You can catch The R.A.D.I.O.'s strange sounds at the ANZA Club on New Year's Eve (December 31) - From Georgia Straight Music Notes - The Georgia Straight

"Review- "Numbers, Birds And The Mysteries Of The Human Mind""

The R.a.d.i.o.'s music exudes a natural benevolence that is just too diverse and weird for any particular rock genre. Like Beck or Bjork, the band incorporates various artifacts of different pop cultures into their songs; samples of videogames, cartoons, and television broadcasts are frequently heard. However, they can also write strong, straight-ahead pop songs with infectious hooks and backup vocals reminiscent of the Kinks or the Zombies. Dreamy soundscapes pervade the songs, as does a Japanese pop influence. The R.a.d.i.o.'s ability to perform songs in Japanese, German, French, and Russian, is among many factors that make them difficult to compare to other rock groups; they are not a group of shoegazers or college rockers or a retro band. While their songs sprawl throughout pop's various stylizations, the musical synthesis the R.a.d.i.o. has achieved is coherent and readily identifiable: ~ John Keillor - All Music Guide

"Crazy Trains"

Those crazy, nutty kids in The Radio are at it again. After winning 1999’s Shindig! competition and releasing a very fine debut CD last year, the local quartet has finished recording a double album of psychedelic pop and country tunes called Music to Hop Trains To. With Nostradamus fan Ray Down handling vocals, keyboards, programming and prophecies, mad scientist lookalike David Mielke on guitar, and Japanese import Kayoko Takahashi on keyboards, The Radio brings its musical odyssey of hooks, harmonies and drum machines to the ANZA Club Feb. 9 and 10. Tickets at the door. - The Vancouver Courier

"Review- LIVE: New Music West 2002"

The RADIO is a band that isn’t afraid to harmonize in "doo-doo-doos" and for that alone I admire them. Their psychedelic, airy tunes were delivered with an easy-going charm that was captivating. The funny thing about the band was that they were sloppy as all get out, but that didn’t seem to take away from the performance and in fact might have added something to the show. They seemed to constantly be on the verge of a meltdown, lending some tension to the performance. The drummer fell off the stage after their last number and I couldn’t think of a better ending to a great show.—JB - Chart Attack


Twelve In The Mirror: (2008)

Great Hits No. 5 (2004)

The Disclosure Project: (2002)

Music To Hop Trains To: (2000)

'Crystal Blue' appeared on the 'Vancouver Special' Compilation on Mint Records (2000)

Numbers, Birds and the Mysteries of the Human Mind: (1999)



If music is the universal language, no translation is required for the futuristic sights and sounds of Vancouver's sonic pioneers, Strange Magic. With contagious pop hooks, dead-poets-society lyricism, and psychedelic textures driven by a throbbing backbeat, the band has made it its mission to write the songs of tomorrow today. In other words, this is band that resembles no other.

Originally known as The R.A.D.I.O., Strange Magic had its birth on the eve of the new millennium, 1999, when three songwriters, Ray Down (vocals, Synths, guitar), David Milke (vocals, guitar), and Kayoko Takahashi (vocals, keyboards), met at the crossroads and set out to define a new musical manifesto. Within months the band had won 1st prize at the Shindig battle of the bands put on by CITR Radio Vancouver, and released their debut album Numbers, Birds, and The Mysteries of The Human Mind, which was awarded Local Album of the Year by Shawn Conner of the Georgia Straight.

The following year saw the band come out with their second record, the double album Music To Hop Trains To, along with an array of shows with such international acts as Cibo Matto, Stereo Total, and Solex. Keeping the presses rolling, the band produced a third album in the spring of 2002, the acclaimed Disclosure Project double Eps (In the Beginning and The Final Chapter?). The band promptly embarked on a kamikaze tour of Tokyo, Japan, resulting in packed shows to enthusiastically disoriented audiences.

Upon their return the band once again hit the clubs here at home, sharing the stages with such local heroes as The High Dials, The Organ, and The New Pornographers. In 2005 the band saw limited release of a compilation of early R.A.D.I.O. favorites in select circles.

Now, in 2008, the band is recharged and set to release its long-awaited fourth album, Twelve In The Mirror, an epic song-cycle nearly two years in the making. With a new, righteously rocking rhythm-section featuring Jon Shubert (Panurge) & Tony Koelwyn (The Awkward Stage), the bands global take-over bid is proceeding apace, with a East Coast Canadian/American tour set for Fall and continental distribution inevitable. It is only a matter of time before Strange Magic intercepts your town. Consider yourselves warned...