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Topic: Enigmatic by De Cova
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 18, 2006 05:56PM)
Title: Enigmatic
Presented by: Alexander De Cova
Medium: 2 vol DVDs
Arena: Parlor, strolling/close up
Ability level: all
Available: any shop, distributed by Murphy’s Magic
Cost: $34 each

There are few DVDs produced that impress me. Everyone seems to be able to punch them out and many are just plain awful. Bad camera work, bad sound, bad magic, all available for $30 give or take, it is enough to make you want to give up on the medium, at least books take effort to produce. I can count on my hand DVDs that I think really are outstanding, solid in every way, I now have to get my other hand out and add Enigmatic by Alexander De Cova. When I saw the advertisement stating that it was avant-garde magic I didn’t have much hope, avant-gard is often used to describe something so that really can’t be described in a common manner. What Magikraft has produced on these two DVD’s is excellent and often very simple magic. I was very pleasantly surprised by the content though I expected a well produced item since it comes from Martin Lewis.

First let’s look at the product itself. The DVD’s are shot in what appears to be a front room of a house during a small gathering for a lecture. The picture could have been crisper but considering the lighting limitations it is still perfectly fine. The sound is excellent, someone miked Alexander the right way. The editing was acceptable and over all a very nicely produced DVD. If I was going to find something to complain about it is my minor peeve of people wearing black and then showing something in front of them that is black, welcome to the world of black art. In one explanation a black silk is used and you cannot see it as it blends so well with the shirt worn by Alexander.

Alexander De Cova himself seems a very pleasant man. He comes from Bavaria but his English is more than passable and he doesn’t struggle at all with his explanations, which are clear and complete. The way the DVD’s are set up a routine is shown then the explanation is given. You don’t get the opportunity, as you did with Tivoliland, to get a feel for the performer and how he flows and segues from one routine to another, which I think can be very informative. You don’t get a performance here, but that really is okay because the DVD is designed to teach. Alexander is a solid performer, works slowly, and has the typical dry sense of humor common in the area he is from. I found him very likable and the only slow downs come from the spectators that help him…they seemed to be asleep at times.

Lets take a look at what is offered on these DVDs
Vol. 1
Roping: This is a good rope routine and has some really nice components to it. Not another Prof Nightmare or Cut and Restored Rope I can see this becoming part of a lot of peoples performances. Solid routine.

Premonition: A very nice routine that will take a bit of work to prepare for as far as props go. Alexander must be a craftsman but this routine will be worth the effort. Of all the routines this most likely will be the one ignored by most people because of the work involved in getting ready.

The Beer Game: I liked this routine but not the presentation shown. It was a good presentation but I watched it and had some really good ideas for using this in a trade show environment. If working a parlor show for adults this would be a great addition.

Master Silks: I’m a fan of Slydini Silks and this, at first, reminded me of that routine then I realized it was more aligned with Sympathetic Silks. I like silk magic and this is a very nice routine. During the explanation you’ll be introduced to an idea, I think from Al Baker, on setting up the silks for the routine that is just brilliant. I’ve either not seen it in writing or ignored it but I sat back in my chair just pleased as punch with how Alexander set up for this routine, very nice.

Stab In The Dark: Well routined card stab…nothing to write home about but a good ‘un anyway.

Ring O Change: Evil! He blew this one right past me, a very nice routine with finger rings that would go great in a parlor show. Well thought out and executed. The rings really seem to transpose themselves, I’ll be working on this one.

Vol 1 ends with a couple other nice pieces including a really cool move for the cups and balls.

Vol. 2
Misers Dream: I wasn’t a Misers Dream guy but now I’m converted. The production of the coins was like nothing I’ve seen before and it is because of an amazing gimmick that is easily made. Very devious and top notch magic for kids shows, parlor, stage, you name it.

Boxed Transposition: A card routine that is completely thought out…actually something that would be appreciated by anti card magic people. You have to watch it to really appreciate the beauty behind this piece of magic.

Forte X: A winner! You all will be wanting to do this. The routine was really nicely done, mentalism using cards, and it avoided all the common mentalism practices. The explanation was amazing because this is dang near self working! I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Get this, you write down multiple predictions on what card people are thinking off, you don’t ask them before hand what they are thinking….and you are 100% right! Heck, you could get 1 – 15 people thinking and it would work! Amazing.

Porous Plastic: A nice coin through bag routine. It reminded me of Coins through Silk that Ammar put out but Ammar wasn’t mentioned. Nice routine and well thought out. I like the look of the silk better than a plastic bag but still a winner.

Groundhog Day: While the presentation got irritating after a bit because of they set up the DVD to run the routine over and over as a joke the routine was very nice and the name makes sense. Nicely put together there was one component of the routine that hit me in the head like a hammer because it was another of those “dang I should have thought of that” moments.

Bean Counter: Spectator guesses how many beans are in a jar…amazing in performance and pretty easy to do. This one blew by me as well but it is on my ‘to work on’ list.

There you have it, the DVDs are 85 and 75 in length are well worth your consideration. Great job Magickraft!
Message: Posted by: afuoco (Jul 18, 2006 10:50PM)
Excellent review Steve. I was impressed with de Cova's first three videos some time ago and was wondering how these new ones would be. Based on Alex's previous work and your review I am going to purchase the Enigmatic volumes. I will also get his new thumb tip DVD.

Arnie
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 18, 2006 11:37PM)
Good idea, it has some really cool stuff on it. When I watched a couple of the performances I was thinking 'oh man, I can't do that' and then I saw how he did it I actually laughed it was just so simple yet never crossed my mind. Glad you liked the review.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 19, 2006 10:01AM)
Porous Plastic is wonderful. I like Ammar's idea/routine, but never performed it because I always felt it was my silk, my coins, so it lacked that astonishment factor I go for.

With the plastic bag, it becomes soemthing that is impossible to have happen.

He're what I'm doing: I use poker chips and let them keep the bag with the last chip sealed inside. It's a nice keepskae for them. That's for tabel hopping. If I was going to do a formal show, I'd use silver dollars and let the host keep the bag with the dollar. The cost would be built into the show of course.

Misers Dream: WOW. Too cool. Bob Solari has a marketted effect that uses this idea, but I didn't see him mentioned. Maybe because DeCova dated the routine back from a long time ago.


These DVD's are INCREDIBLE!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 19, 2006 12:53PM)
The one problem I had with the plastic bag was the spec never looked to see if there was a slit in it some place and that is what I think the specs would believe. Now with you giving them the bag that is a different story.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Tivoli (Jul 19, 2006 01:06PM)
As usual a wonderfull review Steeve
arthur
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 19, 2006 02:08PM)
Thank you....ya know, I just tossed Tivoliland into my computer and am gonna watch you!
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Tivoli (Jul 19, 2006 04:02PM)
Good idea my friend ;)
arthur
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 19, 2006 05:05PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-19 13:53, Steve V wrote:
The one problem I had with the plastic bag was the spec never looked to see if there was a slit in it some place and that is what I think the specs would believe. Now with you giving them the bag that is a different story.
Steve V
[/quote]

Steve, I hear ya. That's why the silk enver appealed to me. You can buy poker chips in bulk. I wonder what we can sue besides coins or chips?

Chris
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 19, 2006 05:30PM)
You can get large washers and the plastic bag and the patter can involve how you wondered why you keep missing parts you need.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jul 19, 2006 10:34PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-19 18:30, Steve V wrote:
You can get large washers and the plastic bag and the patter can involve how you wondered why you keep missing parts you need.
Steve V
[/quote]

washers-BRILLIANT!

Steve, I couldn't come up with it. This effect is KILLER and it relies on the bag being given out with the item sealed in it.

You did it. I appreciate your "worker" thinking!!!

Chris
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Jul 20, 2006 02:18AM)
The washers make sense with the bag and patter, more so that coins or poker chips. I put together a routine for Home Depot (I work there part time for my pal who is a long time manager when he needs help) using hardware and stuff found in the store. You can do the washers through bag, do the nuts and bolts routine ala Doc Easons vids, rope routine obviously.... Good times baby!
Steve V
Message: Posted by: ryesteve (Jan 9, 2007 01:34PM)
I've just started watching Vol 1, and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it. One the one hand, I really like some of the ideas presented, and I can imagine putting some to use. On the other hand, some portions of the performances seemed to go over very poorly. For instance, the premise of the beer game didn't make much sense at all, and the audience seemed very confused as to the whole point of the thing. And during Premonition, the effect was sabotaged because the spec initially miscounted the deck. I guess I'm liking the effects more than how they're being presented on this DVD.
Message: Posted by: wally (Nov 6, 2014 04:57AM)
Anyone doing The Alex de cova knotted silks, what size silks are you using, would 90cm x 90 cm work. or maybe a little larger. pm me please.
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Dec 27, 2014 06:58PM)
I would like to add to the resurrection of this thread (you'll see why the pun is intended in a moment.)

I purchased a trick from Martin Lewis recently and received the Vol 2 of Enigmatic DVD as a free bonus. Okay, I thought, some trash that couldn't sell and added as padding. Wow! I will be performing a 2-program weekend performance for a client for Easter and will definitely be including de Cova's "Bean Counter." First, thank you to Martin Lewis, secondly, a thumbs up to this DVD series, and thirdly, a bit of advice to those who think gimmicks from dealers are the only way to go, think again!
Message: Posted by: dooblehorn (Mar 19, 2015 05:41AM)
I just had same experience as stempleton and got one of the Enigmatic volumes as a freebie when I purchased Ghostwriter...
Not only does Mr. Lewis come up with some great ideas, his customer service is excellent