Mem­ory Tapes: joy­ful pop you won’t be able to for­get

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

The tape is run­ning. Dayve Hawk may mod­estly de­scribe him­self as “just some dude in south­ern Jer­sey”, but you can’t say the same thing about his mu­sic. Most dudes in south­ern Jer­sey are try­ing to sound like Jon Bon Jovi for a start.

Re­leased un­der a haul of dif­fer­ent names – Weird Tapes, Mem­ory Cas­sette and, most re­cently, Mem­ory Tapes – Hawk’s dreamy melodies, hazy grooves and el­e­gant elec­tropop are al­ready hugely dis­tinc­tive and im­pres­sive.

The for­mer front­man with an­gu­lar Philadel­phia combo Hail So­cial is cer­tainly en­joy­ing the new lease of creative life that has came his way since he took the solo route.

As be­fits Hawk’s blog­ging fame, there have al­ready been a bunch of remix calls for such no­ta­bles as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peter, Björn & John, Yeasayer, Brit­ney Spears and even Michael Jack­son.

Hawk has a the­ory on why those calls keep com­ing. “Record la­bels hire a lot of un­der­ground peo­ple to do remixes and then re­ject them know­ing they’ll prob­a­bly end up on blogs any­way,” he says. “They can get the pro­mo­tion without pay­ing you. I’m not too up­set about it. With a lot of my remixes, I don’t even lis­ten to the orig­i­nal song. I still haven’t heard that Yeah Yeah Yeahs song.”

Hawks’ out­put has been highly pro­lific with sin­gles and EPs for such la­bels as Acephale, Some­thing In Construction and Sin­cerely Yours.

The release to check out is Seek Magic, his de­but al­bum proper. Woozy, liq­uid elec­tro shim­mies and shakes with a clat­ter of widescreen, funky grooves, this is the kind of mu­sic that New Or­der used to be able to pro­duce at the drop of a hat when they were a go­ing con­cern. Melan­cholic, joy­ful pop you’ll want to keep close to hand.

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