Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hello Joe, what do you know?

Fantasy Bags is another of Friend's tricks. He releases a handful of great songs last summer and has remained quiet ever since. But I've lamented that loss on this space, so enough for now. What's amazing is how Fantasy Bags turns this into a song that is very much their own. It is the most Friend sounding of the three Fantasy Bags songs available in that it uses all sorts of world influences to construct a unique and somehow predominantly tropical sound. There's an incredible use of space on this song too; all the tropicalia is allowed to breathe here. This is such a unique take on Timberlake, it's almost hard to call it a cover. If it were a movie we'd call it a re-imagining, so let's call it that: a re-imagining of 'My Love'. By Fantasy Bags. Featuring Friend. Okay, one last plea: Friend come back.

Fantasy Bags - My Love

Memory Tapes 'Bicycle' and 'Bicycle' remix

About the original: Bicycle was the best song I heard last year. Unequivocally, Undoubtedly, Indubitably. I guess the big hook of the song is the coda at the end, which a lot of people compare to The Cure or New Order. It's an accurate comparison, but the song is a hit from note one. A lot of people associate Memory Tapes with the whole chillwave scene. I have no idea why. I think it's fair categorization, but it doesn't fully grasp how forward thinking this guy is. The other thing you hear mentioned a lot with Memory tapes is the idea of nostalgia. Again, that's fair but doesn't give you the whole picture. "Bicycle" is like a musical odyssey in five minutes. It starts out with some lovely almost dreamy, but slightly unsettling synths. Dayve Hawk's haunted vocals permeate the whole song. When it first morphs, it turns into some almost post-ravey techno jam. It's the most Weird Tapes-ish moment in the whole jam. You can see Hawk's hybrid identities (Memory Cassette+Weird Tapes) beginning to merge. But still Hawk uses his vocals to give the song a measure of unease. As the song winds down again it becomes an almost old school, smooth funk little break. And then comes that magical coda that everyone can't help but draw attention too. Yes, it is killer, but the magic of it is that the song builds to it. And what about that almost choir like vocal line in the background? And that great piano rhythm that almost sounds like a John Legend-via-old school motown wind up? Pretty guitars, yes, but listen closely. Most artists never write a song this good in their whole careers; Memory Tapes made this his debut single. Still in Awe of this one.

I was just thinking last week about how Acephale and Sincerely Yours released this great free remix package last year as a companion piece to the great Memory Cassette EP Call and Response. Then yesterday they announce they will be slowly releasing remixes off Memory Tapes debut LP Seek Magic over the coming months in honour of the re-press they've done up for the album. The first remix is of 'Bicycle' and it's done by Little Loud. I know nothing about Little Loud. But this remix is simply lovely and stays true to the level of quality of the remixes Acephale have put their stamp of approval on in the past. Little Loud make the song slightly more upbeat, dreamy, but energetic as well. It's another summer soother as my friend Shawn would say. Enough talk. Listen.

Memory Tapes - Bicycle (Little Loud Remix)

Buy the Memory Tapes re-press via Acephale here.

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