Memory Tapes – Grace/Confusion

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c_vinyl_white_01Initial reviews I’ve read about Grace/Confusion, criticized it for the use of essentially the same sounds as on his previous records. That might be a valid argument, but the truth is that nobody would’ve complained if the material here where included on the highly praised Seek Magic – the songs here are equally gorgeous, if not even better. Conceptually it’s a different album, with a higher level of organic complexity, messier song structures and only six fairly long songs clocking in at just less than 40 minutes. Bouncier tracks with traditional arrangement like “Bicycle” or the excellent “Offers” from previous albums aren’t to be found. Instead we’re given songs that swiftly and unexpectedly shift in tempo and melody, full with beautifully constructed arpeggio synths overflowing your ears. It’s instantly recognizable, and yes, it’s pretty clear that nobody else could’ve made this album but Dayve Hawke. The heart and soul that makes up Memory Tapes is clearly present. The analog synths are still the backbone of the record and gives it’s distinct and instantly recognizable Memory Tapes-sound. Seek Magic was the record that really got me into Hawke’s aesthetics; unfortunately his follow up Payer Piano was underwhelming and didn’t materialize on the elements that made the debut such a delight. Unfortunately, Grace/Confusion won’t restore Memory Tapes credibility on the indie scene, but if you ask me it’s a pretty decent record, with at least 4 of the 6 songs that qualify amongst Hawkes best efforts.

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