Chillwave, glo-fi, whatever it ends up getting called, produces some of the freshest sounds in music (or at least the sort of music that bloggers listen to) right now, which is weird for something that’s so often looking backwards and indebted to the 80s. But it doesn’t matter what the label that eventually sticks to the sounds made by the likes of Toro y Moi, Washed Out, Ducktails et al is named, there is nothing as satisfying as drinking beer in the late evening sun and having them on the stereo.
The first band I heard that ended up under this umbrella was Weird Tapes. I knew nothing about them. other than I dug the music and thought the ridiculous polar bear in space artwork was some of the coolest shit I’d ever seen. Downloading the first ep from their blog, I became a frequent visitor and downloader of the always excellent and always free music posted. It sounded like it had come from 2097, though the version imagined in 1987, the one with seemingly pointless flashing lights and pastel-coloured lycra outfits, this one. Later, Memory Cassette’s music appeared too, along with the suspicion they were one and the same. Then finally, Memory Tapes, a “collaboration” between the two acts showed up and a full length album was announced, Seek Magic. Brainchild of Philadephian, Dayve Hawk, Memory Tapes was the fully realised sound of an artist who’d grown up publicly, yet mysteriously. This convoluted journey towards a patchwork band that really always existed, just not in name, is a neat microcosm of a genre that sounds at once familiar and mysterious, and still lacks a definitive name. Seek Magic is one of the finest examples of modern electronic music to be unearthed in 2009, listen to a few tracks below and buy it here, on vinyl obviously. I nominate future-wave by the way.
Weird Tapes – Glorious
Memory Cassette – Last One Awake
Memory Tapes – Bicycle