Memory Tapes - The Arches, Glasgow, Fri 8 Jul 2011
Blissed out set from the captains of chillwave
Chillwave: an apt descriptor of an entire musical movement? Or a conveniently coined faux genre linked by a few bands with loosely similar influences? Whether you approve of such pigeonholing or not, Memory Tapes are regarded as one of the key purveyors of such easy-listening, disco-tinged shoegaze and have been punted by blog after blog as such.
The New Jersey-based musician (real name: Dayve Hawk) is here to promote latest LP, Player Piano, the follow up to 2009’s Seeks Music. Sound issues plague the first few tracks, understandably unsettling the band, but they soon find their feet in the surprisingly quiet Arches Playroom, while Hawk shows his knack for a shaky but endearing vocal and a fuzzed-out guitar line.
Envisioned as homemade, Mac-produced pop, the live show is essentially a blissed-out backing track augmented by a live drummer and bassist, with warm, hazy melodies and percussion complementing the thick underlying electronic layers. Recent material is interspersed with older tracks, ably translated to a live setting by Mr Tapes and band. Although at times lacking much to distinguish between certain mid-set songs, theirs is a formidable representation of what chillwave might really be.