The Canadian band, Spaced Out has put out three CDs since year 2000 and yet they are virtually unknown in their native country, except in the prog-hungry Quebec, which not only has created a bevy of great new progressive rock bands, but also a label as well.
The music is instrumental fusion, but not as fierce or heavy as the genre has been to known to represent. As the band’s name suggests, there is more of an astral air and laid back approach to the delivery. However, that doesn’t mean the musicians aren’t as tight as you find doing jazz rock hybrids. It means the band is more into textures and atmospheres than displaying unrelenting virtuosity.
Spaced Out consists of Antoine Fafard on electric bass who is also responsible for all of the compositions and the many layers of programming. Martin Maheux is a very capable drummer, Eric St-Jean on piano and keys, and Mark Tremblay (the most recent member) rounds things off on guitar.
This is a band that’s deeply entrenched in 70s fusion jazz but that feel only dominates occasionally on songs. While the sounds are quite familiar throughout, the band can stretch their sound anywhere from Return to Forever to the neo-classical elements of bands like Finch and the Fire Merchants. To say the compositions are typically jazz or classically influenced would be incorrect because “Slow Gin” flows and transforms continuously with apparent ease.
I have not heard Spaced Out’s earlier albums so I can’t really comment on their progression as a band. However, these boys aren’t afraid to explore, absorb influences and transform musical iconography into a statement of their own. All in all, it makes for an enjoyable listen that can easily be up front to be admired, or as background music for study or work.