Memory Tapes Interview

Darling of the blogging world admits: “I’m not very good with computers.”

Anonymity is but a thin barricade to hype in our digital age, yet twenty-nine year old New Jersey resident Dayve Hawk still manages to remain somewhat enigmatic behind his current pseudonym as Memory Tapes. He doesn’t drive and nor does he care to learn – he rarely leaves the house; nor does he own a TV, radio or phone. In fact, Hawk rarely has any contact with the outside world, still, despite being the current darling of the Blogosphere.

“People imagine that I am some sort of recluse,” explains the stay-at-home-recording-at-night father of one, “but I’m just not interested in attention. I know that people think that I’m constructing some sort of enigma around myself, but I’m really not – if there is anything abstract or mysterious about me, it’s because it’s me and not through design.”

Having departed with Philly post-punkers Hail Social (something that he describes as an “ill fit” due to his crippling social anxiety towards performing live), he began to post tracks on the Internet towards the latter end of 2008 under the name of Weird Tapes as an outlet for his work. “That was just a lot of fucking around, chopping up samples and things like that on the computer,” Dayve explains of his previous work remixing the like of Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Britney Spears.

The electronic calm that he instilled as “fucking around” gained him blanket praise throughout discerning blogs for his digital remastering, yet Hawk still disquietingly admits, “I’m really slow about learning all the Internet stuff, which is kind of funny as I rely on it so much. I’m not very good with computers, either, and don’t really know what I’m doing – I use it like I would an old 8-track.”

Despite his apparent technical ignorance and continued reluctance to disclose himself to fans and critiques alike, weirdtapes.blogspot.com continued to lay claim to the work of Memory Cassettes – the sound of his youth: “It was stuff that I recorded when I was a teenager. I didn’t have any kind of serious plan of what to do and eventually it got picked up on by other blogs.”

January 1st, 2009: Dayve discards all his previous work as “old news” and begins work on his debut album ‘Seek Magic’ as Memory Tapes; single ‘Bicycle’ goes viral within 24-hours of being posted; and Pitchfork.com drag the poor man out of bed for his first interview. Why? The question still stood: who is this cassette-based medium?

“I still feel like a lot of the response I get from people is confusion,” explains Dayve, but for all the confusion that he perceives and has left in the wake of his pseudonyms, ‘Seek Music’ brings certain clarity to proceedings. Electronically evolving with every turn, it fractures a spectrum of kaleidoscopic influences from New Order to Cocteau Twins before rewiring it into something tangible. A glitched-out and tuned-in debut that eclipses the current surge of bedroom-to-blog phenomena in which it dwells.

Where: New Jersey
What: Bedroom electronica
Unique fact: Michael Jackson’s label approached him to rework ‘Music In Me’ for a special remix album. It was rejected on the grounds that it was not “chopped up or crazy enough”.
Get 3 songs: ‘Bicycle’, ‘Stop Talking’, ‘Graphics’

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