Memory Tapes is a recording alias of New Jersey-based Dayve Hawk, former frontman of Philadelphia-based Hail Social. After initially releasing material under the names Memory Cassette and Weird Tapes.,[1] and on signing to Something In Construction to release a Memory Cassette EP (also on Acephale), Memory Tapes’ first LP, Seek Magic was released in September 2009, through the labels Something In Construction, Sincerely Yours, Acéphale. It was self released in the US. Seek Magic sold over 1000 copies on pre-release via one shop in London (Rough Trade) and has since sold over 30,000 copies.[2] The CD release of “Seek Magic”[3] came bundled with a 4 track Bonus Disc including a Horrors remix and a 22-minute instrumental, “Treeship”,[4] which could also be downloaded from his website for free.

Memory Tapes was initially associated with the chillwave music genre but is now seen more as a producer in his own right. Each album has its own separate feel and instrumentation. Seek Magic used a lot of dance rhythms and sounds and had touchstones such as New Order and Cocteau Twins. Hawk plays everything on his records and used such unusual sounds as a bicycle pump on the track Bicycle and the sound of sneakers on a basketball court on Green Knight.

His second album was released in the summer 2011 via Something In Construction (Europe), Carpark (US) and Inertia (Australia). He was quoted as saying it would be “psychedelic girl group music”. The music on “Player Piano” reflects more of a “band” sound than his previous works, and also lacks their reliance on sonic saturation and obfuscation. Pitchfork described the album as “flat and airless, sucked dry of his typically evocative detailing” and gave it a mixed review, scoring it 6 out of 10. The first track from these sessions, Today Is Our Life, was featured on a large number of blogs earlier in 2011, and the album, called Player Piano, came out the following July.

Memory Tapes debut live performance was in Manchester UK in January 2010 and they have since played all across North America and the EU as far away as Australia. 2010’s live shows were with a drummer Matt Maraldo and a backing track. 2011 dates should see an expanded band.

In 2011, Memory Tapes was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video for their video for “Yes I Know.”

Hawk lives in rural New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

On October 2, 2012, Hawk released his first single from his upcoming 3rd LP, “Grace/Confusion”, which will be released on December 4, 2012.

Memory Tapes

Memory Tapes Interview

Charles Brownstein interviews Dayve Hawk aka Memory Tapes about progression, collaboration and experimentation. Memory Tapes is Hawk’s New Jersey based project and will be releasing his third LP Grace/Confusion this December on Carpark Records.

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