Vintage Hi-Tech
Record label: !K7
Format: 2xLP/CD
Release date: 14 April 2003

I had the hardest time reviewing this album, mainly because the words to describe it don't come easy. Then it hit me: Spacek makes soul music that's otherworldly without being obvious about it. Vintage Hi-Tech doesn't have that "weird for the sake of weird" quality, yet you know that something isn't quite right here. Musically, this South London trio echoes the moods of Jaydee, D'Angelo, and Glenn Lewis...but from an alternate universe. Sit back and listen to "Motion Control" or "It's Not Gonna Happen" for a proper introduction to the rhythmic complexities of this group, as well as Steve Spacek's wonderful falsetto. Once you've got the idea, move on to "I Know A Girl." Electronic bleeps come down like drops of water with slightly off-key background harmonies in their reflection. "Amazing" is just that, working a slow motion techno pattern for all it's worth. By the time Steve sings "I'm gonna disappear...right before your eyes" on "123 Magic," Spacek's aural abracadabra has you in its spell. It's this kind of subtlety that will bring soul music into the future. "Next level R&B" is not an oxymoron Vintage Hi-Tech breaks through the disbelief.

{downtempo don}

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