Steve Spacek – Space Shift (Sound in Color/Jam)


Steve Spacek

Leaving London and his band Spacek for sunny Los Angeles was a good move for Steve Spacek, who’ spent a good while in Sydney this summer too. But the benefits must have been mostly personal, because musically new solo album Space Shift feels like a logical progression from the previous two with the band.

The breathy voiced singer has kept experimenting. MPC and Logic-loaded computer on hand, Spacek linked up with California broken beat imprint Sound In Color, as well as stateside contemporaries like Jay Dee from Slum Village (who donated the beat for first track Dollar).

His production is restrained and elegant, employing razor-sharp beats, wallowing acidic burbles, thick warm bass and hazy synths. Slow Baby Dubb hits a note somewhere between Zapp and DJ Zinc that loops threateningly without ever letting loose with his voice. Even when he brings in collaborators – like Jay Dee or Orin Walters from Bugz in the Attic – it is just part of the album tapestry.

But whatever’ happening below, it’s always about the voice. It’s like caramel softly melting over sharp broken shards of glass. Unlike Jamie Liddell’ practiced irony, Spacek flirts around the beats, pulling his songs apart, stripping them back to the bones. Sometimes the sparsity, often not much more than a repeated refrain or extended chorus, leave you wanting more. Still, there’ something that’s more than the sum of the parts.

Steve Spacek – Dollar

Matthew Levinson