Posts Tagged ‘dark matter’

SPC ECO at Get It On Vinyl

It really seems like SPC ECO can do no wrong. Having reviewed them a couple of times on this site before, we always know we are going to enjoy whatever comes our way from the band. SPC ECO (vocalist Rose Berlin and multi-instrumentalist Dean Garcia) have a unique way of re-inventing themselves with every release, all while keeping their trademark sounds intact.
Dark Matter is the band’s latest release on Saint Marie Records.

The best way to describe Dark Matter might be the album cover itself. The artwork features a simple black can, on white background. The can, reading “Dark Matter” is simple in design. No flare. No description. No clue. If you want to know what this album is, you have to be willing open it.

“Creep In the Shadows” opens the album with Berlins soft and reserved vocals. Her voice softly hovers over the melodic ambiance underbelly, reaching subtle techno frequencies as the song progresses. Rose is beckoning us to follow, and follow we do, right into the second track “Different Kind.” There is no sense of urgency on the track. Every syllable and syncopated drum beat is precise. While the vocal effects are classic SPC ECO, Berlin has the purity that could drive each piece in its absence.

The first major change in tempo is narrated in the opening measures of “Let It Be Always.” The distinct amateur radio transmission locks in to find Berlin in all her un-processed glory. “Playing Games” is perhaps the most familiar sound we have come to expect from SPC ECO. With its pulsating rhythm, the track shines midway through when Berlin lets her voice carry over through each stanza, especially when she asks “Wont You meet me in the middle of something beautiful?” Yes, we will. We will meet you right here in the middle of this exquisite track. Sounding more like a contemporary hip hop track is “Down Low.” While out of character, sounding more like a Drake track, it is best in the hands of Garcia.

Closing out the album are two of its best tracks. “The Whole World Shines” features Dean Garcia at his best. He nails this track with a soft monotone ambient beat during the verse before unleashing full on industrial shoegaze on the chorus.

Lines like “I’m done crying for moments I once adored” open the albums best work, “Under My Skin.” The track is not only the most beautiful song we have heard from SPC ECO, but the entire genre. The lush instrumental, and subtle keys is all kept on the right level allowing Berlin to maintain control. She whispers, she croons, she sings softly on a wavelength direct to your soul. The track is perfection and wraps up the best album we have heard yet from SPC ECO.

While Sirens and Satellites was shoegazed focused, and The Art of Popwas pop, Dark Matter is another shift for the band, exploring deep electronic elements and emotions both in songwriting and instrumentation. While we are always excited for the next pivot from the band, we hope they stay in this camp for a while. Dark Matter is a truly exceptional. Throw on the headphones. Dim the lights. Open that can of Dark Matter and make sure you get every last piece.

The album is yet another release from our good friends over at Saint Marie Records. The LP sounds exceptional on heavyweight black vinyl. The LP comes with lyric sleeve and download card. It is a limited pressing so make sure to pick up your copy from your local independent record store or directly from Saint Marie Records.


SPC ECO at Magnet

SPC ECO is the U.K.-based duo of Dean Garcia (Curve) and Rose Berlin. On their new album Dark Matter, they have left behind a bit of the industrial shoegaze of Garcia’s past and have made a full-length that pulls from grime and trip hop so much you might think it was recorded ages ago in Bristol. Berlin and Garcia both sat down recently to put together a mixtape for MAGNET that wasn’t so much the inspiration behind the new album, but what they consider essential viewing and listening. Dark Matter is currently available from Saint Marie Records.

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SPC ECO at Pop Monitor

Ende November erschien Dark Matter – das siebte Album der englischen Shoegaze-Band SPC ECO. Exklusiv für Popmonitor hat Ex-CURVE-Member und Multi-Instrumentalist DEAN GARCIA die neuen Songs kommentiert und einen Vorspann verfasst…

We are very of the moment when we record and write. We prefer to keep with something that has a certain feeling and mood regardless of its imperfections. Many people have the view the longer you work and explore something the better it will be. We say no to that theory. It’s all about the original capture and the moment for us. Rose always sings through a track in the moment without any previous melodic thoughts or lyrical content and forms an idea of the words as she goes. Sometimes we deliberately leave them like this. It’s a creative process that is not for everyone but it’s the only way we know how and want to write and record our songs.


This track started with the drums which were hand filtered as a 4 minute recorded ‚on the fly‘ pass to create an arrangement. Bass was added next followed by a spacey keyboard touch and then left. Rose will often do a pass of voice without ever hearing the track before so it has an immediate and instinctive feel about it – similar to how the music is constructed. The vocal is the second pass in its entirety exactly as it was originally captured, lyrically unedited and of the moment. A keeper as we say.


Started from a drum and bass loop which goes throughout the track, filtered live as a pass to get an arrangement of sorts, another bass added as a cyclic patten, then drop the pitz string riffs, put to one side. Rose did a voice pass without previously hearing the track. What you hear is the first take exactly as she recorded it, lyrically and melodically unedited. Last thing to be added was the chime like bell riff that comes and goes. Done.


At the heart of this track is the 16 bar creaking lofi A40 loop that you can hear at the front of the song. We added a pass of filtered drums and then big dark drone bass. The break section was next, made with piano bass and drums. We were unsure of this section at first but after the filtered lofi treatments it’s one of our fave moments on the record. The way it goes into and drops back out to the main track is piff. Rose’s vocal guidance was to pretend you are a human theramin, which you can hear throughout the song. Voice was made up of three passes, comped into place and then revisited to write the lyrics and then re-record the vocal take.


The sound pool loop that you hear at the front of this song goes throughout the track is another A40 16 bar loop that has odd charm. All of the musical changes and instrumentation were then added starting with the bass notes to get the arrangement, followed by drums and keyboard and FX oddities. Voice is made up of 2 passes, comped into a structure and then revisited for lyrics and re-record of vocal. This one was quite a while in the making due to it being taken off into a different direction and then heavily edited and culled to get it back to how it is on the record.


This track started out, went on a big journey and then arrived at where it is now. I think you can hear that from the many different textural sounds and elements that come and go, which generally means you’ve spent longer than you should have exploring, adding and deleting. The vocal was comped from three passes and then revisited for lyrics and re-record of voice.


We like to indulge ourselves with downbeat melancholic ballads.This started with the piano chords and the odd scratchy lofi drum beat. Rose did a pass of voice early on to get the structure and idea in place which then paved the way for the wavy guitars tones and strings. We then revisited the vocal to work the lyrics and re-record the voice. Last thing to drop on this track was the bass which is very sparse but works through the changes really well accentuating the melancholic sadness of it all. Lovely.


For the love of beats n bass, this is us having fun and pretending we’re in the studio with Dr.  Dre, leaning heavily on the bass and filtered drum loop. The voice went on early to give the track an arrangement, followed by the various swoopy tones, odd FX and finally the big noise mesh and Latvian church choir that drops at strategic points. The outro section is there as an afterthought, but we liked it so it stayed. We were unsure if this track fitted in but reminded ourselves that we’re all about embracing different styles and genre bending so kept it in.


Another dip into the downbeat wavy zone. The overall feeling we wanted with this record was to be the opposite of our previous release “The Art of Pop” which is very 80’s electro-pop driven and almost happy. This time we wanted to make a deeper more notably downbeat and minor sounding record. This is us doing exactly that.


This came about from Rose lying down on the bed with a mic really tired after a heavy shift at the school. I had a drum beat and a filter app fired up ready to go. We made a pass of the two things together at the same time and got the track more or less arranged and melodically structured in one pass. The music is formed entirely around the pitch and melody of the vocal. The drums are the pass you hear and the vocal was revisited only for certain lyrics and fixes. It was one of those chemistry things that you only get when you really know the person you’re recording with.


Started with the filtered steamed up piano chords, which is a filtered and morphed pass for 4 minutes to get a run for arrangement. What you hear is how it was originally recorded. Next was a pass of voice that didn’t quite work as well as it could have. I added a bass to help the changes and some strings. What followed is best described as a truly emotional earthquake between Rose and myself due to a personal ongoing issue which left us both scarred and in tears. One hour later I asked her if she would like to sing on the sad piano song again and she sang what you hear on the track. Driven to tears once again but for the polar opposite reasons, this song is the epitome of the unquestionable love and bond that only occurs between family. What a perfect way to end this record.


Dark Matter is the new album from duoSPC ECO (pronounced Space Echo) out now on Saint Marie Records. SPC ECO are the brainchild of Dean Garcia (formerly of Curve), while he crafts soundscapes singer Rose Berlin croons, aches, and endlessly laments about entire uncharted inner worlds above them. Today, we have the premiere for their haunting ‘Under My Skin’ video, simultaneously elegiac and valedictory it’s a song to be played at weddings and funerals.Watch the video here:

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SPC ECO at Magnet

The brainchild of Dean Garcia (Curve)—has just released a new album called Dark Matter, and today MAGNET has a free preview of opening track “Creep In The Shadows.” The track is brooding and dripping with electronics, with Rose Berlin’s vocoder-heavy vocal performance showcasing the subtle tension of the song.


Mark Van Hoen, SPC ECO at Fear and Loathing

The world can be a very bizarre, very loud place at times. The insane volume of the current year’s unimpressive conclusions mixed with the annoying murmur of lives in motion, cars starting in the morning, empty laughter on lunch breaks, and meaningless chatter that booms within the walls of happy hour every day. December comes strutting in like a wounded woman, unknowingly beautiful feeling painfully invisible, but if you attempt to strike up a conversation, you will feel the sting of her disgust with reality. Art should never refer to itself as art. Those who observe it and flirt with it should decide that. The state of modern music is perplexing in many ways. Sonic introductions now reduced to a Tinder-like existence, swipe left, reject, swipe right, and listen. The average person now has an attention span of around seven seconds or so. This concept and fact-finding method has been applied to cinema, music, and newsfeeds that we all partake in. Flash and grab, strike a nerve, rattle an emotion but you better make it fast. I guess people are pretty scared to jump into the pool, the unpredictable chill of immersion. But then again it is December, and it does get pretty fucking cold.

Rearranged moods and obsessive grooves are the name of the game in two current releases that I’ve been letting myself get lost in recently. Saint Marie Records is a relatively new label with its own distinctive sound, there’s a certain crispness and mysterious hum within all of its releases. Whether it’s post-punk, shoegaze, dark-dream, or indie pop, each release is unique because it’s very obvious that artistic vision and creative prowess come before the need to launch “the next big thing”. The sounds of unhinged lust, jilted lovers, jealous rage, uncooperative desire, and mind-altered contemplation come to life in the latest albums by SPC ECO and Mark Van Hoen.

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SPC ECO at New Noise

From the mastermind behind the ’90s band Curve, comes SPC ECO (pronounced “Space Echo”) and a brand-new, highly limited vinyl release. With just 250 vinyl copies floating around, Dark Matter is sure to sell out fast, especially if you’re a fan of meticulously crafted ambient sound scapes, sultry female vocals and a wispy, loungey feel.



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SPC ECO at When the Sun Hits

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SPC ECO, Thee Koukouvaya at Stereo Embers

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