Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Seefeel - Faults (Warp)

Amidst all the high profile reunions (the Blinks, the Libertines, Robbie and Gary (!)) certain, low profile bands finally back together have been lost in the media scrimmage. It’s a mighty shame because Seefeel are back after fourteen years with a new EP full of abstract electronics and bewildering beats. Seefeel, for those that missed the initial boat, are a group from London who bought some guitars into the field of electronica and ambience, verging on the fabled art of dreampop. They worked with Warp records, crafting a sizeable catalogue of acclaimed albums and EPs before, after a final gig in 1997, taking an extended leave of absence from the music world.

Luckily, the temptation such a world brings was too much for the band to resist, when they were asked to perform at Warp20 in Paris last year, a gig to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the label. Reforming, with a new bassist and drummer due to prior commitments, they now have a new four song EP in ‘Faults’, 14 years since their last release.

The tracks show a slide in emphasis towards a psychedelic blend of genre and tone, keeping the electronic edge yet vibrating to an almost primordial shoegaze style. Opener and title track ‘Faults’ shimmers and shudders with a certain frailty, masked with a thumping boom of a drumbeat. The vocals of Sarah Peacock blanket the track, both distant and binding, as if whispering in your ear from a mile away.

This melding of relaxation and electric turmoil in the sound of Seefeel resembles a remote ramble through a roomful of instruments and computers, hazily drifting from one nature to the next. The group certainly knows how to effortlessly evoke a mood or establish an atmosphere within a five-minute track, evident in ‘Crowded’, which feels truly claustrophobic in it’s incessant beat and intermittent, interrupting synth stomps.

Seefeel are back with a rumbling quake of an EP, ominously uplifting in its exploration of modern electronics. The second half of the EP seems less focused, and suffers slightly as a result, but still hold a distinct deftness that distracts and disorientates the mind in equal, pleasurable, measure. Seefeel remain electronic pioneers and, fingers crossed, a new album could see them warping a lot more minds in the future.

Words : Adam Parker

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