SEEFEEL: Faults (Warp Records)


Posted on Sep 10th 2010 01:27 am

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Seefeel: Faults

Warp Records 2010
04 Tracks. 18mins59secs
Format: 10″/Digital

Amazon UK: 10″ | DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

While Seefeel never officially split up, the project has been lying dormant for well over a decade. The band, was originally formed of Mark Clifford (guitar and programming), Sarah Peacock (guitar and vocals), Mark Van Hoen (bass) and Justin Fletcher (drums), until Van Hoen was replaced with Daren Seymour in 1992. Seefeel evolved on the fringe of shoegaze and were for a while closely associated with the Cocteau Twins, with whom they toured, yet their approach relied increasingly on heavily processed guitars and abstract ambient soundscapes which earned them considerable respect in electronica circles. In the space of three albums and a handful of EPs, released on Too Pure, Warp and Rephlex, they established a sound which remains to this day highly influential and totally unique. Following the release of their third album, (Ch-Vox) on Rephlex in 1996, Clifford concentrated on solo projects Disjecta and Wodenspoon, and collaborative efforts with Simon Kelaoha, better known as Calika, vocalist Sophie Hinkley as part of Sneakster, and more recently with Mira Calix, while Peacock, Seymour and Fletcher went on to form Scala. Clifford and Peacock were reunited three years ago as Too Pure issued an expanded version of the band’s 1993 debut album, Quique, and the idea of working together again slowly began to emerge. The band, counting new members Shigery ‘DJ Scotch Egg’ Ishihara and IIda ‘E-Da’ Kazuhisa in replacement of Seymour and Fletcher, were invited to perform for the first of the Warp20 series of events in Paris last year, paving the way for a new chapter in the Seefeel cannon.

Right from the opening moments of the title track of this EP, it is clear that Seefeel have moved on from the deeply atmospheric textures of their last record to incorporate beats and actual song forms once more, but unlike their early recordings, the sound is often stripped down, with drums and bass placed forward in the mix while processed guitars are found slightly towards the back. This is particularly the case with Faults and Folds, which both feature Peacock on vocals, cast against a rather scarce and dry backdrop, almost entirely focused around the rhythmic section, with only scraps of guitars and electronics in suspension around it, on the former, or buried under layers of processed sounds on the latter. Here, Seefeel delve once again in the abstract song forms that was initially at the core of their work, but the clouds of sounds that was intrinsically part of it have become a much less concrete component. This is shoegaze turned on its head and shaken so violently that there is almost nothing remaining of it apart for vague hints here and there.

There is a much wider gap between Crowded, with its looped guitar textures, at times reminiscent of Climatic Phase 3 or Plainsong, and the more purely electronic Clouded. The former, built around a powerful groove and vast hypnotic dubbey guitar sections, which grow from pretty arid at first to spiraling loops, then back to drier effusions, is classic Seefeel. Clouded on this other hand takes up fragments of ambient textures and twist them into totally abstract sound forms which has very little to do with anything the band have produced until now. There are hints of Autechre or Aphex in there, but the core sound space is once again stripped down to its bare essential and remains for its entirety extremely minimal and enigmatic.

One thing that remains from the Seefeel of old is the overall hypnotic nature of the music. The soundscapes may at times be much more minimal and raw than previously, but these compositions still rely heavily on narcotic bass lines, endless loops and dreamy stabs of dub. Both Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock have matured in the years they were apart, and with new musicians on board to injects new ideas and concepts into the band, Seefeel is being brought back to life having lost none of its edge.


Seefeel (MySpace) | Warp Records
Amazon UK: 10″ | DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

Filed in Singles/EPs | Tags: , ,
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2 Responses to “SEEFEEL: Faults (Warp Records)”

  1. […] Paris as part of the Warp20 celebrations, and returned in September last year with a brand new EP, Faults, now followed by this new […]

  2. […] Kazuhisa, got back in the studio and began working on new songs. The result first materialised with Faults last year, then with a self-titled album, both showing a band experimenting with much rawer and […]