Australian-based producer Katalyst and London-based soulster Steve Spacek team up on the Done It Again E.P., which includes a few songs and remixes from the upcoming album Soul:Fi. What I get from this E.P. is that the songs are an attempt to merge classic soul vocals with a hip-hop beatmaker’s sensibilities. It should work in theory, but it surprisingly falls flat.
Steve Spacek is perhaps best known for “Dollar” (“let the dollar circulaaaate, let the dollar circulaaaaate”), and THAT is my jam! It served as a wonderful example of how to combine Steve’s silky throwback vocals with a classic soul sample that sounded like a modern-day groove. In my book, it’s an effortless classic. E.P. opener “Imaginist” plays to Steve’s strengths as a vocalist, exercising his classic soul falsetto to full effect, a la Curtis Mayfield, whom he is often compared to. The groove is tight, and Steve owns it, as he did “Dollar.”
The other two songs, Done It Again and Life, end up sounding extra-derivative. The remixes don’t really help much. The ‘Around The Bend’ Mix of “Life” makes it a lil more spacey with a gently broken beat and random synth blips throughout, but ultimately, I ended up wanting to hit the NEXT button (and I did).
[youtube tAO8k71bCyY nolink]
I can’t help but think that the production would have been more interesting if it were in the hands of someone like Quantic or Mark Ronson. Those guys are masters at reaching for inspiration from past decades while simultaneously keeping the music fresh and focused forward. Unfortunately, Space Invadas are doing just that: invading space and occupying time, while lending nothing new or exciting to either.
3 out of 5