20th July [That’s when I wrote this and I started blathering about Memory Tapes with everyone. After that I’ve come across his name so many times as never before, in blogs and zines, and I think someone must have heard my prayers somehow]. After releasing 'Salem' last Autumn, Acephale has become one of my favourite record labels, a guarantee of a new breed of experimental sounds hailing from somewhere in the States and beyond, far from the thriving music scenes that have flourished along the coasts, respectively around the Smell, LA and in super-hipster Brooklyn. And it’s thanks to my obsession for this label that I’ve found out about Memory Tapes long before he had ever put out an EP. Apparently the story of this obscure artist goes like this. Once upon a time there was a glossy electro-punk outfit called Hail Social. One day this band split up and from its ashes two entities were born, Weird Tapes and Memory Cassette, respectively characterized by a driving, fizzy French sounding electro and a dreamy, psychedelic electronica. Apparently these two similar still distinguished outputs were brought to life by the same mysterious mad scientist, who last year started releasing material from both his alter egos for free via his blog invading the blogosphere super quickly. And this was when Memory Cassette got spotted by Acephale and released the brilliant EP Call and Response (unfortunately – for us - super sold out). At some point last year these two identities merged together giving life to another creature that incorporates the dreamy psychedelia of Memory Cassette and the catchy electro beats of Weird Tapes: and that’s how Memory Tapes was born. Anyway, one day Faris Badwan from The Horrors came across Memory Tapes/Weird Tapes/Memory Cassette’s tracks and remixes and urged his former label Loog to sign him. This has resulted in Bicycle, a breathtaking 5 minutes of pure psychedelic trip into the realm of nostalgia, accompanied by bouncing beats, hypnotic echoes and languid guitar riffs that remind kind of New Order’s True Faith, but not too much, as this guy is a truly original. I was listening to Bicycle today while cycling under the rain and you know what? I was tripping so nicely that the weather didn’t even bother me that much. Bicycle comes with a Horrors Cosmic Dub, that’s a further step in spooky surreal Lynchian atmospheres. Think about having a walk under the rain with Dario Argento and David Lynch; and as the rain fades away and northern light comes out from the clouds you start running towards deserted grasslands. And you feel at home, happy and secure. Only Memory Tapes could give you this feeling. The B-side, 'Plain Material', is still languid and nostalgic, but more shoegaze-y – here the guitar break is straight from the beginning and gets bouncier with fuzzy electro loops only towards the middle. Memory Tapes can be considered the ‘founder’ of a new genre of its own, call it Fantasy or Dreamwave – as Gorilla vs Bear defined it - blending everything from Disco, Lo-Fi, 80s Synthpop, House, Electro, Breakbeat, New Wave, Italo, Ambient, Lounge and 3D Chiptune. It’s the perfect music to be played after midnight, it brings you straight into another dimension where divinity and state of cosmic nirvana are reachable and nostalgia is a master factor. And the funny thing is, he keeps giving away his songs for free downloads, when this is exactly the kind of music I would be more than happy to pay for. Anyway, this is the happy ending of the incredible story of Weird Tapes/Memory Cassette/Memory Tapes. And they lived happily ever after… [Actually this is not a happy ending, this is just the happy beginning of something that will be a massive success in the next few months (well, I just hope he won’t end up on the cover of The NME). Now only one thing: give a face to Mr Memory Tapes, ‘cos if I listen to that guitar break in Bicycle only one more time, I will totally fall in love with him.] 24 July: As if my prayer were answered, finally Mr. Memory Tapes has got a name, a face and a story behind him. It’s 28-year-old Dayve Hawk from southern New Jersey, former front man of Hail Social, who lives in his own world with his 4-year old daughter, no phone and no driving licence. And here in his little hiding place in the skies he produces his heartbreaking music. And he’s going to release his first LP called Seek Magic next September. Isn’t this another beautiful chapter in Memory Tapes surreal story? Thanks Pitchfork for this - though I loved the poetry of the mystery behind his identity. At any rate, I’m totally blown away by this guy. Track To Download: Just get on his blog and download everything. Pigeonhole with: a bit of Moroder, a bit of New Order, and of course, a lot of Weird Tapes and Memory Cassette, but still truly original in his own way. Rating: 18/10!