SPC ECO at Raised by Gypsies

The first time that I listened to “DARK MATTER” we were driving in the car, the three of us, on our way to our first hockey game.     We were technically on our way to Springfield, MA but we drove past it to go up to the Holyoke Mall first.     There aren’t a lot of places you can go within Connecticut that take more than an hour but from Meriden, CT to Holyoke, MA is a pretty decent drive and we listened to this SPC ECO album the whole way there.    I only make mention of this because I own so many great albums which have stayed with me over the years and I’ve always found myself listening to them and under the impression of my hearing it for the umpteenth time and yet most of them I cannot recall the first time I heard them but assume it was inside somewhere.    Knowing we experienced “DARK MATTER” for the first time on our way to our first hockey game makes it as special a memory as this album is itself.
 The sound of SPC ECO is one that can be described with many different tags on Bandcamp but ultimately has the vocals and beats at the forefront.    You can call it dark beats, futuristic electronica, dreambeats and probably a few other genres on Bandcamp I don’t want to look up.   The thing is, the music has a post apocalyptic sound to it on some levels and as such reminds me of something you’d hear on the soundtrack to “Tank Girl” and yet at the same time could be on the soundtrack to “The Crow”.   If you require a point of comparison with another existing artist you’d probably go for Garbage or The Postal Service but that isn’t even quite close to how wonderful this sounds.
 One of the biggest factors on this album is the mood it sets and that is done by the tempo.    I like to think of it as being rather sullen and brooding, taking us somewhere but yet it is mellow and chill while still maintaining a certain sense of supsense.    Though it seems like it should not be possible the songs on “DARK MATTER” manage to keep a steady tempo, never slowing down too much and never gaining too much speed, and yet it still seems urgent.   It has that same appeal as something I would say was from the “Alias” soundtrack, or if you could just imagine the speed on this cranked up ten times faster, but yet it can somehow do all that without making the beats faster.
 The beats are also what control the music, which in a way reminds me of hip hop or trip hop but only taken to another level.   It’s not something I can quite explain because I’ve not heard anything like it before, but even though there are other sounds within these songs (including vocals) the beats still remain at the front.   I can only really compare it with how you see a band perform live: the singer/guitarist in the front and center, a bassist to his or her left, another guitarist to the right and then the drummer behind all of them, somewhat hidden behind the drumkit.     As I listen to these songs, I imagine the drummer being front and center, somehow in front of the drumkit even, with everyone else in the background (Though the vocals could be side by side at times)
Though the tempo can change at times into these bursts of lightning which might find you on edge if you are otherwise feeling relaxed, the fact of the matter is that one of the best words to describe the vibe of this album is chill.   However, even though it has that laid back essence to it there is still this importance, this rising within it which makes me feel like it is quite more punk rock than anything else calling itself punk rock these days.   This might not be the brash, screaming in your face type of music you’d expect to resemble such ideas but it does have that “We’re here and we are not to be fucked with” attitude that I just also love so much because it might not be obvious but it is still there.

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