Spacek

Upon releasing their Curvatia debut in 2001, Spacek were deluged with accolades in their native UK, describing the group as "21st century soul” or as the "Radiohead of soul.” While the UK music press isn’t exactly known for their cool detachment when it comes to new groups emanating from their shores, there is definitely some justification to all the praise. While it didn’t generate roof-raising record sales, Curvatia also won the group the championing of Gilles Peterson and some fans amongst hip-hop heads with the remix of their single "Eve.” That remix, produced by Jay Dee of Slum Village fame, transformed the song from beguiling ambience into an unapologetically raw lurcher, and seems to have influenced the output on the excellent Vintage Hi-Tech. While their music previously favoured a languid pace, the BPMs have been noticeably nudged up as demonstrated on the A Tribe Called Quest boom-bap of "It’s Not Gonna Happen.” Vocalist Steve Spacek caresses the bass-heavy grooves with his delicately fragile voice and explores naked emotion in his lyrics while the group continues to be deft sound manipulators. Electronic fuzz and baby cries clash in the background while Spacek croons as if he’s oblivious to the chaos on "Amazing.” But even this doesn’t prepare you for the beautifully off-kilter cosmic groove of closer "La Bougie.” It’s gambles like these that make attempting to putting a finger on Spacek’s sonic excursions an ultimately pointless exercise.