ARTIST: SPC ECO
RELEASE: Smile EP
RELEASE DATE: 08/07/15
I’ve had almost a month to let this new EP from Dean Garcia and Rose Berlin settle around me, and I continue to enjoy its dark wave focus. Thankfully, there is no sign of the voice synthesizer employed on the duo’s most recent album. When you have a warm, sensual voice like Rose Berlin’s, you don’t need any electronic artifice to enhance it. Of course, this is all just opinion, but I figure if you’ve got the goods, you might as well flaunt it. This five song EP seems unrelated to the full length that dropped in May and stands on its own as yet another sonic artifact from this prolific group. It seems like sometimes Dean likes to drop these releases in the wee hours of the night, so one wonders if the album was recorded at night too.
It is hard to say, as it’s more of the sinuous type of grooves SPC-ECO excels at, with dreamy vocals winding in and through the trippy mixes. “Out of My System” is slower and pensive, with a rain-washed feel to it. It has solid hooks and straightforward vocals, and seems earmarked for a single. It is also much shorter than most SPC-ECO songs, which also underscores it as radio friendly material. “Smile (might as well)” is more tentative in its approach, and its chiming tones and spacey ambience create the perfect dream pop confection. “All in Time (demo)” is classic SPC-ECO, and seems lifted from an earlier era. What I’m trying to say is that it could easily have appeared in the late 80s, save for its modern studio sheen. “Out Of My System (DB Mix)” is markedly different from the EP’s opening track, and feels more industrial. Finally, “System (Break It Mix)” is yet another iteration of “Out of My System” and is also distinct. It falls more into the electronica camp, which is fine with this listener. It is cool, shady trip hop for the modern age, and is a fine end to this neat EP.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days “continues to define my existence”. During and after her college years, she ran a weekly radio show at WMUA FM Radio and also at a community station in Springfield, MA, in addition to writing music and concert reviews for the college newspaper. At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and recently began producing a semi-regular Mixcloud-based show called The Kitchen Sink. In the real world, when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.