Memory Tapes – unpredictable, limited-edition magic

Last week when talking about The Cribs, I mentioned how my personal musical boat is floated by unpredictability.  Obviously there need to be great sounds too, but along with those I adore not knowing if I’ll hear the chorus again, and what the chances are of a bassoon solo anytime soon.  Step forward, Memory Tapes.

Thanks to Rough Trade,  I know that he’s a one-man band based in New Jersey who’s long been remixing (as Weird Tapes and Memory Cassettes) on the excellent gorillavsbear blog and is now releasing debut album ‘Seek Magic’. It’s limited to 1,000 copies, solely available via Rough Trade outlets.   And, judging by the tracks available, it’ll be just the merry, maverick chaos I cherish…


Take Bicycle.  It begins by motoring along via a jazzy intro that oozes class and fine rum, before pop melodies momentarily deign to hitch a lift, and a bouncey electro rhythm swiftly follows.  Suddenly pandemonium breaks out: low aaaaaaghs from the singer and boisterous beats from a potent keyboard.  Then quietude again, just as sudden, then more mayhem: a patient, bongo-type throb in the background, the vocalist confessing to being in love with ‘you and your sister’; a mesmerising guitar solo; distant psychedelic screams.  And then it all ends, heartbreakingly, leaving you dishevelled, delighted and desperate for more.

And thankfully, more’s at hand.  Equally bonkers and brilliant is Plain Material, veering from a dutiful indie anthem to sample-happy, mind-bending Ibiza chill-out with magical grace, and providing more call for ass-shaking than any bout of food poisoning ever could.   If I was a name-dropping, reference-intent clown writing for Metro or the like, I’d say this was Kraftwerk via Kasabian mixed in with the soul of Daft Punk and a lick of New Order.   But, really, comparisons shouldn’t be made – this is music with its own free personality, and what bigger compliment can there be but that?

Completing the MySpace playlist is Pink Stones – entirely electronica-dance this one, with percussion beats so clear and true it sounds like King Kong’s thwacking a giant xylophone with a treetrunk he’s just unearthed in Central Park.  Or something like that.


Buy Seek Magic here (Rough Trade)

Memory Tapes on MySpace
Memory Tapes’ (and other projects’) blog  (with recent mixes)

MP3: Memory Tapes – Bicycle (zSHARE)
MP3: Memory Tapes – Plain Material (zSHARE)

~ by ripamel on 01/09/2009.

One Response to “Memory Tapes – unpredictable, limited-edition magic”

  1. […] – plus some cool cover art If I needed any confirmation, I’m now certain that I love Memory Tapes.  Why, you cry?  Well, because he has taken a song I didn’t get along with […]

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