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With just a few beats, some blips and moist, high-pitched vocals, “Vintage Hi-Tech” explores the promising territory of futuristic soul music. As a group, Spacek has a sweetly extraterrestrial vibe, but here on earth they hail from South London.

The band’s pilot and vocalist, Steve Spacek, recently said, “We’ve matured since the first record [2001’s “Curvacia”] and came up with a lot of new ideas.” One of those ideas is obviously a more pared-down sound. “Vintage” pulls in various directions — funk, electronica, soul, downbeat — but never quite commits, making the record consistently fresh. Critics have likened Spacek to Massive Attack, and the reference is somewhat apt if it points to the smooth electro-soul of “Be Thankful for What You’ve Got” and not the lush layering of “100th Window.” Either way, Spacek’s minimalism allows them to slide in closer to listeners’ ears, radiating a subtle, sexy tension that makes Massive Attack seem overblown by comparison.

For Spacek, the space between sounds is as much an instrument as anything else. Played at low volume, “Vintage” seems cramped and brittle, but crank it up and the space billows like a hot-air balloon, lifting the tunes into orbit. Rhythmically, the sparse layers of beats, claps and scratches aren’t a bottom but a protective shell for the more delicate sounds and fragile structures within. “Time” opens with whirling electronics, the exhalations of a distorted guitar and a dirty bass line but, with a quick cut, any identifiable sounds drop away and Steve Spacek’s voice sidles up close. “Motion Control” sings of the balance between desire and restraint and, in lesser hands, the tune would be horribly cheesy. On the first few seconds of “Amazing,” samples of a crying baby jar listeners from their pleasant dream state but, soon enough, Spacek’s shimmering falsetto pins us back against the cushions. So just sit back and enjoy the voyage.

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