Dayve Hawk was formerly the frontman for a post-punk outfit called Hail Social and has since established himself as a remixer of note. Now he has made a successful transition to solo artist with an album that applies the skills learned from his previous roles and moulded them into something fresh and new.
It’s a case of spot the reference for some of ‘Seek Magic’. By way of example, the album opens up with the kind of effects-saturated jangle you’d expect from The Cocteau Twins on ‘Swimming Field’. Meanwhile, ‘Bicycles’ knows its way around a Peter Hook-style bassline.
Hawk does have his own distinctive imprints though; where quiet bubbling electronica and Hawk’s subdued vocals are common denominators. Furthermore, when he adds a danceability factor – as he does for the club-friendly ‘Stop Talking’ – the composite parts reach a heady, ecstatic peak. Later tracks like ‘Graphics’ and ‘Plain Material’ also maintain the good form and come equipped with satisfyingly shuddering rhythms and the essence of dreampop respectively.
Although lacking the emotional impact of Junior Boys and Hot Chip, Hawk is just as inventive. In fact ‘Seek Magic’ is exactly the kind of album you would hope a former post-punk man and remixer would create.
Playgroup, Junior Boys, Hot Chip