Boomkat Product Review:
Sensuously modern soul beauties from Steve Spacek, one of the most distinctive artists combining Black Atlantic heritage with contemporary electronics and futurist vision
On his first Spacek album since 2005’s ‘Space Shift’, and expanding on the themes of his Beat Spacek LP ‘Modern Streets’ , Steve has us rapt from the opening nanosecs of ‘Natural Shift’ with his use of watery compression artefacts - the modern equivalent of tape hiss - which instantly acknowledges his sound as a product of its times. You might pardon our excitement at this sound when it soon comes into combination with his vocals and patented chord cadence, letting us all know that this isn’t some decadent attempt at reenacting old soul glories or slopping on the gloss to mask a formula - he’s speaking from here and now, seemingly singing a modern bluez down a Skype connection.
Most brilliantly, that fidelity also apples to the rest of the album, with Spacek’s trademark falsetto sweetly occluded in-the-mix, smudged with wickedly slouching, gunky bass funk and the “cheapest” sounding drums. As we said, the effect is felt best in his mesmerisingly unique opener ‘Natural Sci Fi’, but we’re also smitten with the album’s other standouts, such as the grubbing acid funk and in-the-pocket harmonies of ‘Carnival Nights’, and the combination of sloshing, off-key arps and languorous vox on ’Shout’.
There’s little mistaking that this is the finest UK soul record of 2018, and a subtly radical new look for the often conservative Eglo label.