Boomkat Product Review:
Another ICE sureshot, ‘Mello Magic’ compiles totally charming private press synth-pop boogie from ‘80s session player Tommy Mandel. Sleazy, seductive, confessional, innovative, and crammed with colourful hooks and surprises, it’s a must-have for fans of everything from Ariel Pink to Prince, Drexciya and Egyptian Lover
“Tommy Mandel’s “Mello Magic” on Invisible City Editions is a compilation of personal synth-laden pop songs created between 1980-87 in NYC. His professional work as a keyboardist and vocalist found him on stage and in the studio with many of the 80s greats from the Clash, Todd Rundgren, B-52s, Violent Femmes, The Ramones, Tina Turner, Mark Ronson, Dire Straits and Bryan Adams.
While offstage and out of the major studio sessions, Tommy wrote in little books, made animation films and hooked up a massive amount of synthesizers, sequencers,microphones and recorded songs like diary entries. He self released almost 20 CDs, cassettes and one Self Titled 12” Ep. Each song selected here is stunningly simple, lush, desperate, playful, and harmonic, touching on disparate trangents like Brian Wilson, Egyptian Lover, Michael Shrieve,Holger Czukay, Ariel Pink, YMO, AOR FM West Coast Rock, Arthur Russell, Martin Denny, Peter Gordon, Drexciya, Prince and Private Issued New Age Boogie. Tommy recently jokingly coined his music “corporate ambient” and and it all shouldn’t work, but somehow he manages to effortlessly make each song a Tommy Mandel song - DIY, homespun,personal, stunning, and not too serious. This is perfect pop, charming, sincere, infectious and the work of a humble, good hearted, romantic savant.”