Seek Magic is the latest endeavor from Dayve Hawk, aka Memory Tapes. Prior to the album’s release, the track “Bicycle” made quite an impact on the web as it was applauded by several taste making websites/blogs/mags (Gorilla vs Bear, Fader, Spin.com, Pitchfork, Stereogum). It was also NME’s most popular download of the day for the entire year of 2009. Several fans, including Spike Jonze and Portishead, heavily anticipated the arrival of Seek Magic. Influences and similarities range from other dream pop, electronic contemporaries like Neon Indian, Washed Out and Pantha Du Prince to more established mavericks in the vein of My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, The Police, New Order and Ellen Alien.
The opening track “Swimming Field” resembles a hazy twilight effect of the shore. Behind the Hawk’s androgynous vocals, tropical steel drums tweaked with reverb, and twinkling starbursts of laptop samples is a much larger theme – when the bright citrus cirrus of the beach vanishes and the sky transforms into night, the hybrid emotion of parting and welcoming flourishes. “Stop Talking” is a synth driven electronic celebration whose aura transforms into a stylish melancholic dance party. Think Of Montreal, Tim Hecker, and Galaxie 500 all rolling on ecstasy cut with Xanax. Again, Hawk plays within the medians of contrasting ideas. The song jumps genres and every transition works. The track ends with plenty of distortion and vibrant keyboarded chimes atop well-crafted digital drumming. “Graphics” is bright, crisp and poppy.
Nearly all of Seek Magic is conducive to the melting rainbows that grace its oily cover, creating an album that is both bright and moody. From the opening guitar riffs of “Plain Material” back to the cold machine drone of “Pink Stones”, Memory Tapes’ arrangements blend the embracing warmth with neutral gray. The eight tracks of the regular release hold well on their own, however, it’s the 22:40 instrumental track on the Special Edition version of Seek Magic that sends Memory Tapes into a more ambitious stratosphere than most artists riding the chillwave of Summer 2009.
by: Bene Garcia