Seefeel - Seefeel - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Seefeel - Seefeel

by Steve Rhodes Rating:7.5 Release Date:2011-01-31

Originally mixing elements of shoegazing ambience and repetitive beats, and later forging a darker techno-led route, Seefeel were are the forefront of intelligent dance music (IDM) back in the early 1990s. Fifteen years since their last album, two new band members and after several lauded live performances, they are back with their new eponymous album on Warp Records, the leader of IDM for more than 20 years and a perfect home for them.

Seefeel feels like a triumphant homecoming. Dominated by hypnotic bass-heavy grooves and swathes of warm, electronic glitchiness, it feels like a compendium of the highlights of Seefeel's past, along with a subtle progression that prevents their evolving sound becoming dated or seeming irrelevant.

'Dead Guitars' is an apt title, with electronics sounding like guitars being politely shredded. Sarah Peacock's heavily treated vocals seem effortless, with the track aiming towards their More Like Space era. 'Making' and 'Airless' continue the mix of treated guitar, washes of synth, repetitive bass and Sarah's breathy vocal, a sound that could easily be mistaken for their label-mates and kindred spirits Boards of Canada.

The whispered vocal and primitive, tribal electronic drums of the excellent 'Faults' could be a re-imagining of School of Seven Bells' 'Half Asleep', albeit if they had been listening to Aphex Twin rather than Slowdive. Perhaps more reminiscent of their later releases, 'Rip Run' is a heavier number, again mixing a pulsing bassline and drums but with a spacier guitar sound. 'Gzaug' could have featured on their Ch-Vox album and its awkward techno is their most Aphex Twin-like song, in title and content.The album highlight though is undoubtedly the beat-less 'Aug30'. Hypnotic swathes of electronic noise move in and out of the track . Possibly the simplest and most ambient of their songs, the warm fuzz of the melody just envelopes the listener in blissful harmony.

It's great to see Seefeel back after such a long absence. Seefeel is an unconventional return to form that belies the time they've been away. It certainly can't be described as easy listening, but after a few plays it will grow and stay firmly supplanted in the mind. A delightful return.

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