MEMORY TAPES return to play XOYO this summer.
“Putting the disco back into disconnection” (ho ho ho)
Player Piano, the excellent second album from Memory Tapes is released this summer on Something In Construction Records in Europe and Carpark in the US. It was, like its predecessor, recorded at Dayve Hawke’s home studio in rural New Jersey, where he juggles looking after his young daughter and being a musician.
Seek Magic was released properly in March 2010 and has since sold over 30,000 copies worldwide. It received almost exclusively excellent reviews. Memory Tapes debuted his live show in January 2010 in Manchester, England and has since criss-crossed North America and played shows all across Europe and as far away as Australia. His remixes of the likes of Crystal Castles, Gucci Mane and Britney Spears have had consistent acclaim.
The template / motif for Player Piano was “keyboard-based psychedelic girl group songs, a sort of Motown suicide note” and so it is. Largely eschewing modern dance beats this time, there are still the spaces of modern R’n’B, along with 60s pop, 50s doo wop, krautrock, Eastern pop and nods to Aphex Twin.
Again he has chosen not to use sequencing software and has played each instrument in the studio himself. Some of the elements are played deliberately off-key or out of synch to give the slightly warped yet warm feel that works so beautifully against the topline melodic aspects.
While Seek Magic was quite an electronic sounding record with lots of dance music tropes, Player Piano is all about the melody.
Simply put, there are lots of catchy tunes here, singalong choruses throughout the album and songs that feel very immediate and accessible, despite consistently dark lyrics that describe a disconnected mindset and a profound sense of isolation.
There is a painterly aspect to the composition that gives the album a bright, clear arc that describes a deceptively simple picture, taken as a whole, despite the fact there are hugely contrasting tunes within. And then again, within each song there are very playful twists and turns, wrong-headed arrangements and some very unusual instrumentation, from 70s Hammond organs to XXXXXXXXXXXXX and YYYYYYY.
Dayve is already working on Memory Tapes’ third album, which is going to be a “space rock, kind of Sabbath” guitar based set.
An earlier version of Today Is Our Life from Player Piano was released earlier this year on Something In Construction’s Love SIC Disco compilation and still yields over 800,000 hits on Google. There seems to be a natural word-of-mouth spread of Memory Tapes’ music and anticipation for this record is considerable.
Dayve Hawk will be debuting the new album live this summer and the band will be expanded from the previous duo of him and drummer Matt Maraldo. In addition to the new material the band will be playing more poppy arrangements of old favourites like Bicycle, Green Knight and Graphics from Seek Magic.
24 year old Manchester beatsmith STAR SLINGER has shot to worldwide recognition in a startlingly short amount of time. He has already been named by the Guardian as “best new act of the year by miles”, with his recent track Mornin’ one of the most popular songs across music blogs the world over. He counts the likes of Diplo, Jamie XX, Donald Glover and Benji B amongst the fans of his melodic, chopped up beats, with pitched up soul vocals sliced around complex drum machine patterns and swathes of vintage synths.
His rogue re-workings of the Cocteau Twins and Nicki Minaj are perfect examples of his talent for completely transforming the mood and tone of the original source.
The talent didn’t go unnoticed and SS has since officially been hired to remix notorious acts. The list includes none other than Gold Panda, Childish Gambino, Broken Social Scene, The Go! Team & The Morning Benders.
With 2011 already offering Teams vs. Star Slinger – 12” (on Brooklyn’s finest Mexican Summer label), a Sold Out 7” & a self-released EP (Rogue Cho Pa) – Slinger is touring the UK / EU and beyond, rocking dancefloors and winning eardrums the world over.
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