Review: David E Sugar - Memory Store

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  • Monday, 22 November 2010
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  • euan mackay
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  • Artist: David E Sugar
    Release: Memory Store
    Out: 22nd November
    Buy: Amazon Label
    Info: Myspace

    When considering a suitably witty and humourous theme to adopt for the review of Memory Store, the debut record by David E. Sugar, there was a certain temptation to meander off down pun lane, making tenuous reference after tenuous reference to one of David E. Sugar's namesakes. However upon visiting his Myspace in preparation, it seems that idea was not overtly clever or unique and has been done before - Damn you Dave Jenkins of IDJ Mag! Damn You!
    Euan, You're fired.

    There are however some parallels to be drawn between my (somewhat lame) attempt at humour and David E. Sugar's record as both follow paths that have been well tread before. Unlike my effort at humour though, Memory Store's familiarity is not unwelcome and tired.

    Sugar's sound has a bit of electro goodness, a splash of indie credibility (hello Rob Da Bank) and a barrel-load of dance-pop fun. It recalls the likes of Tom Vek, LCD Soundsystem, Simian Mobile Disco and at times even dare I say it, Calvin 'Fucking' Harris (I think that's his full name). Having said that, the Harris comparisons, owing to the slightly grating myriad of throwaway 80s computer game-esque blips and bleeps, is perhaps slightly harsh. This record is better than that.

    Sugar is at his best when combining elements of indie and dance and mashing them together in one joyous oh-my-god-I-can't-control-my-feet mix, see the infectious lead single 'Party Killer' , 'Something New' and 'Cambridge Suns'. Where Sugar is at his most surprising is when he puts the dance beats and blips to one side and plumps for a softer, more melodic approach on the ridiculously catchy single 'Flea Market'. This, for me at least, is the standout track on the record.

    This is the second single release from the album and for me is the clear highpoint of it. Watch an (unofficial) video for the track here:

    Perhaps as you's expect of a record from Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best label, the production of Memory Lane is top notch. Sugar seems to effortlessly strangle various aged Nintendo products and eek out their sound effects all the time whilst laying down a wealth of excellent guitar loops and (almost) annoyingly infectious beats that are sure to get even the most miserable folk's feet tapping.

    If there is to be any criticism of the record it would  fall at the lack of differentiation between tracks on Memory Store. Taking 'Flea Market' out of the equation the tracks have the tendency to flow from one to the next perhaps a little too easily to the extent that things get a little 'samey'. Some may put this down to excellent sequencing but for me things get a little too repetitive and the punchiness of the tracks in their own right are somewhat lost as a collective.

    That being said though, with Memory StoreDavid E. Sugar has produced a really solid album that offers a  fun alternative to the wealth of Mumford-esque folk that is clogging the airwaves. Definitely worth checking out.


    Originally written for The 405