Best known as some 80s fingers for hire - he played keys for Bryan Adams, The Clash and plenty of others - Tommy Mandel has also self-released plenty of his own work down the years. Invisible City hoover up some of the stuff he put to tape in the 80s for a compilation of ‘corporate ambient’ (Mandel’s own term). The wry hypnagogic bent of Mello Magic makes it the perfect album for you if you’re one of those people who’s really got into Yellow Magic Orchestra and Haruomi Hosono over the past couple of years.
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9/10 Thomas Spice Customer review, 25th April 2018
The archaeological fruits of labour from labels such as Invisible City Editions seem to be still able to bare the propensity to surprise and delight, even when their voice is now calling out amongst a vast pantheon of others vying for attention in the reissue world. Mello Magic is surprising and delightful mostly because of the quality of the music and partly due to the charming story of it's maker, Tommy Mandel.
Mandel is a perpetual dweller on the threshold of mainstream music having worked with the Clash, Todd Rundgren, B-52s, Violent Femmes, The Ramones, Tina Turner, Mark Ronson, Dire Straits and Bryan Adams. As extra curricular activities to his session work Mandel has been an fervent self releaser over the years with a vast back catalogue of private press cassette only releases in existence. Like the best of those "outsider" musicians whom we all cherish, Mandel seems to have a burning desire to want to release music regardless of label backing or a desire to please the suits.
The musical content is perhaps best described by the album title, as it manages both to evoke both mellowness and magical sparkle at the same time. Mandel jokingly self described his music as "Corporate Ambient", and yet whilst intended to disarm it does give a good indication to the stylistic tendencies of his work: playfulness, simplicity and harmonic richness. Mandel's is a unique mind and may the future see even more of this commendable archival work.
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- Mello Magic by Tommy Mandel
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