Dance | Theater |MK2 | Spacek

by Neil Atherton

vintage hi*tech

Fusing the gravity of soul with the levity of electronica, Spacek’s 2001 debut “Curvatia,” was heralded as a 21st century update of the former. In the US, traditional Motown has gradually been absorbed by hip hop, in Europe by electronica. So by taking influences from their past — Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Barry White — and digital inspiration from the present, the London-based trio developed a means of sonic exploration realized through minimal, delicately structured songs.

Signing to Island Blue for an eighth record deal set the group up as a future reference point for the then new wave of electronic song-based music, coinciding with the arrival of 2-step. “At the time — the deal was a positive thing,” remembers singer Steve Spacek. “But major labels change and they asked us to do 2-step,” adds drum programmer Morgan Zarate. After switching to a smaller, independent label, the group were allowed the creative freedom they deserved to write new LP titled “Vintage Hi-Tech,” a sedate trip to the future of soul, that leads the listener into the leftfield. “The album’s really simple,” says Steve. “Just simple beats and ideas — we don’t want to get caught up in all the nonsense and fashions anymore. It’s just about the feeling and the vibe right now.”

“Vintage Hi-Tech” (!K7/Pias) out April 14