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Review: 'SPC ECO'

-  Label: 'ELaB Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '24th August 2017'

Our Rating:
I’m not sure which is more remarkable / depressing (delete as appropriate): the fact that SPC ECO have been going ten years, or the fact that it’s a quarter of a century since Curve’s debut (which is being released coincidentally with the new SPC ECO album). Curve were one of those magical bands which illuminated the 90s alternative scene in a unique way.

On one level, I’ve always felt an ambivalence, even an awkwardness about SPC ECO. The idea of forming a musical partnership with one’s daughter and recreating the sound of the previous project with said daughter’s mother simply seems weird. On another level, there’s a sense that Garcia is simply striving to recapture the spirit and sound of Curve. And yet, on another level still, Curve, along with Slowdive and maybe a handful of others, created a legacy which far outreaches their contemporaneous achievements.

Opener ‘Out of Sight’ is a thickly-layered dance-orientated shoegaze pop tune that crackled and hums and provides the perfect showcase for Rose Berlin’s breathy, compressed annd utterly magnificent vocals, and it’s followed by the Slowdivey swirl of ‘All the Voices’. If anything, though, Calm shares more common ground with Portishead than Curve. A lot of it’s in the production, admittedly: thick, smoky, hazy to the point of near obfuscation at times, the detail blurred and in places almost indistinct. Slow, sultry beats pulse and rolling basslines dwell, partially submerged beneath layers of wispiness and an endlessly unfurling dreaminess.

‘Rise Up’ is dark, weighty, a sub-industrial piece which has hints of Chelsea Wolfe and Cranes, while ‘Who Are You Now’ is super-murky, the song half buried in a sonic smog.

‘Calm’ may be a shade lacking in dynamic, but its ethereal atmosphere more than carries it.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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SPC ECO - Calm