Capac are three young chaps who met in Liverpool, from the digging around I’ve done they now seem to be working more with Kate Smith who adds some vocals to great effect (especially on new track that made me think of early Massive Attack haunting, distant and slightly paranoid). Mostly they make atmospheric instrumentals that blend live and electronic sound, and they definitely have one ear tuned to post-rock sensibilities.
On their Pastels EP ,They make good use of clean programmed beats by juxtaposing them with more elastic fuzzy, if not quite lo-fi, ‘real’ sounds, the result is dance floor friendly rhythms with more cerebral textures over the top. Good use of vocal samples reminded me of early UNKLE (in sound) and GY!BE (in subject matter). Opening track Palindrome moves from sparse, ominous and skeletal rhythms to a warm deep bass-y melody. Layers of sound build, before what I think is a plucked mandolin emerges, followed by another, and another until there is a cacophony of furious strumming. While Missing 36 introduces a definite bass wobble, it made me think more of Planet Mu than ‘bro-step,’ it also tempered by some clanging Kraftwerk synths. Flies ups the abrasive sound, and gets a little bit fidget-house, before crumbling in to some pretty Teutonic motorik. Capac make great use of studio wizadry, and stereo with sound phasing all around you as you listen which only adds to the immersion, although that might have had something to do with listening on headphones. I couldn’t tell you what it sounds like on a decent stereo as I recently set my amp on fire.
As an EP Pastels feels a little like a showcase for Capac’s sound, rather than a cohesive piece with a central narrative, but that is fine because it is new, they are young it sounds pretty damn good. It is an enjoyable tour around the atmospheric fringes of electronic music, and points to interesting things to come. The tracks I’ve heard that do feature Kate Smith (she isn’t on Pastels) suggest they are capable of adding another more soulful facet to their sound, which would certainly set them apart from the stereotype of antisocial knob twiddling obsessive that dogs both techno and post-rock.
This article is a Saint Uffido Original!
Capac play XOYO with Braids on Wednesday 9 November, you can get tickets here.