We're just going to throw it out there that Magic Monday (out today on Ghostly International) is the sonic coming of age story of Michna. Of course, we're saying that because we know from our own magazine that he used to play horns in a ska band, and when "Swiss Glide" comes on and the beat is built around skateboard wheels and—surprise—horns, it's like we're reliving the time we played Reel Big Fish too loud out of a Discman on the 4th of July, which was a bad idea on every level. What we're saying is Michna's album is about growing up, and some noise somewhere in there is going to remind you of some stupid thing you did as a kid, too. While you you're listening, click more and read Hillary Kaylor's Gen F on Michna from F56.
Stream: Michna, Magic Monday
Michna is game
Story Hillary Kaylor Photography Andrew Henderson
On the hottest day of the year so far, Coney Island is crawling with dirty little kids and Michna wants to play skeeball. He wants to smash bumper cars. He wants to “shoot the freak” with a mounted paintball gun, and pushes through a sweat-soaked crowd for his turn. After his barrage of bullets hit their mark square in the freak’s wooden chest plate, he turns to me and grins. “Shoot him in the nuts,” he says. So I do.
For the past decade, there has been an element of amusement to all of Adrian Michna’s musical pursuits, whether it was playing the horns in his college ska band, being part of the downtempo trio Secret Frequency Crew, working the New York DJ circuit as Egg Foo Young or now making his own beats as just Michna. This fall brings his Ghostly International debut, Magic Monday, an album best played while driving in the dark, when the beats synch with the dashboard’s hypnotic glow, the street signs vanish and you’re at the wheel of a stolen Delorean, just managing float your way home.
“To create, you have to be a child and just play,” Michna says. In his self-described “detailed listening,” he blends together everything from homegrown melodies to popping Pringles cans to chopsticks on pans to sampled musical punchlines to his own trombone playing. With each song, he pumps city grit into the watery graves of mixtapes past. Post-bass, ambient, whispers of acid jazz, it’s all there, the sound of skipping through songs in the Rite Aid parking lot before hitting that one final basement party of the summer. Magic Monday is an instrumental biopic, but one that is both timeless and genreless. “I’d like the album to be a gateway drug,” he says, hoping it will let listeners hear the full span of electronic music’s potential.
In person, Michna is just as unlimited, spinning the conversation to chefs-slash-DJs, the ’90s and whether or not he recognizes the gravely-voiced carny who calls us “a couple of pineapples.” He’s the type of guy you’d hope would show up at your rooftop to watch the fireworks. We hang out so long I get a first degree sunburn from the beach’s glare. Then it’s time to go, but he finds more game quarters. So we don’t.