Memory Tapes - Grace / Confusion

For the most part, ‘Grace/Confusion’ erupts in epic belters; the most intense yet in a Memory Tapes record.

Label: Carpark

Rating: 8

Since pioneering the genre some years ago, Memory Tapes’ Dayve Hawke has had to witness the icy tides of chillwave melt into obscurity. But followers of Hawke’s career will know he’s been evolving somewhat, slowly moving away from the fuggy haze of debut ‘Seek Magic’ to ‘Player Piano’’s more sleek character. In that latter release, he flirted with infectious trance numbers, sun-kissed afrobeats and sleek arrangements, all of which setting him apart from all other bedroom-based musicians.

And here, on Hawke’s third release, he pushes those boundaries even further. Yes, there are echoes of his previous sound. ‘Thru The Field’ is as Aero-bubbly as anything he’s previously done before whilst ‘Safety’ shows he hasn’t gotten over his New Order obsession just yet.

But for the most part, ‘Grace / Confusion’ erupts in epic belters; the most intense yet in a Memory Tapes record. ‘Let Me Be’ is a menacing track undecided on whether it wants to stick to the witch house smog of its opening half or the arms-in-the-air, Massive Attack -esque rave of its closing. ‘Sheila’ continues Hawke’s extreme new direction and mashes his trademark trance infectiousness with a few tips from ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ era Muse. Wispy closing track ‘Follow Me’ is better yet: a six-minute mix of thumping blips, bleeps and angelic harmonies straight from a heavenly rave.

There’s nothing to be confused about ‘Grace / Confusion’ as it effortlessly flits between serene bliss and an equal sense of tingling intensity. Dayve Hawke has created a record that’s as graceful (sorry) as it is mighty.