- Be With Records
Spatial & Co Vol. 2 may well be the best album in the Spatial & Co series. It's absolutely flawless. Again created by French disco lord and Arpadys maestro Sauveur Mallia for French library label Tele Music in 1979, it leans far more into the space disco sound than the clean cosmic funk of its predecessor. And it's all the more thrilling for it.
Wide-eyed opener "Discomax" is starts as pure piano-disco brilliance with a bassline to die for before heading off into wigged out territory, all acidic squelches and jaw-dropping percussive breakdowns. Perfection. "Space People" follows, an eerie, half-beatless sci-fi synth workout played out against a hauntingly metronomic pulse for the first half - proper slow-mo space disco business - before the beat kicks in, the electric guitar solo wails beautifully and the bassline that emerges at its conclusion rides in on some other shit.
Closing out the A-Side, the six minute long "Bass Power" is, unsurprisingly, a deep, low-end roller with head-nod drums, whizzing synths, blissed out ambient vibes and Mallia's otherworldly bass playing super high in the mix. It's white hot funk, make no mistake, and it sounds like a re-geared library version of Roxy Music. Yes, *that* good.
Side B is laced firstly by "Holidays Morning", an emotional disco-pop groover, all electric guitars, skipping drums and synthy bleeps with more than a few moments of pure driving funk.
One for the deep heads, longtime favourite "Electric Maneges" follows, a bleepy, haunted dancehall gem, uncut tropical balearic-funk from another dimension. The sophisticated digi-soul of "Loving Discovery" comes on like a weird, interplanetary Sade instrumental, all swelling synths, warm keys and syrupy guitar rhythms. Hearing is believing.
Arguably saving the best til last, the fierce, proto-techno of "Exotic Guide" closes out this extraordinary set. The intro genuinely sounds like Detroit would a good few years later - just wild - before it glides into a driving percussive funk break complete with both stabbing, insistent synths and those of a more winding, laconic variety. The one complaint? It's over far too soon. Remarkable.
Sauveur Mallia is a crucial figure in the history of electronic and dance music and a hugely underrated French library bass player and composer from the Arpadys / Voyage crew. This is just the beginning of Be With's Mallia - Tele Music reissue campaign!