Magic Hour Rundown is a new cassette release by Brooklyn-based composer and producer Derek Muro, out late last month on Sine Wave Records. Muro is a co-founder and member of the bands Love Like Deloreans and Mighty Five. The entirety of Magic Hour Rundown plays almost like a contemporary tripped-out version of the soundtrack to an 80’s teen classic. At times, Muro’s voice sounds like a ghostly, reverb-heavy version of Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr in “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” which you might remember from The Breakfast Club.
The cassette moves gracefully between minimalist electronica, hazy noise, and pop songs that aren’t too far removed from the sounds that all the cool kids are calling “chillwave” today — particularly in the middle selection of Magic Hour Rundown‘s Side A, where the tape’s sounds are at their most accessible. Side A is broken into two more pop-oriented tracks that are held together by a quietly blissed-out and pulsating bridge.
On the first of these tracks, Muro’s vocals and synth lines sound most in line with the John Hughes decade. His voice is begging you to pay attention, but the only words you can really discern are “quarry” and “junkyard.” The second of these tracks is more straightforward; it hooks you in with a repetitive riff and upbeat rhythm that stay with the entire song, behind occasional electronic flourishes. Side A ends appropriately with one such flourish, seting the stage well for Side B’s more experimental sound.
As a whole Magic Hour Rundown might be best fit for soundtracking your own late-night walks or subway rides. Just remember to bring your Walkman.
Derek Muro, “Magic Hour Rundown (Side A)” (Magic Hour Rundown, Sine Wave Records)