Seefeel – Seefeel (Warp/Border) CD REVIEW

October 8, 2014
1 min read

Seefeel always were a splendid band, and their ‘90s albums still stand out from the crowd. Signed to electronic label Warp, they had the guts to come up with a type of lysergic drone-rock that didn’t (and still doesn’t) sound like anything else that was happening at the time.
With most music you can picture the people, the instruments, performing on a stage, when you listen. Seefeel were like magic, conjuring spooky sounds out of who-knows-what instruments. This created a great illusion, and allowed the listener to concentrate on the actual sounds and textures, and forget almost entirely about who was doing what, and how.
Unfortunately, the group imploded fairly shortly after their brilliant 1995 album, Succour. Recently, the Warp label asked them to reunite for a performance project, and the band were reborn. This self-titled album is the result, and it’s really something.
This version of the group sounds almost entirely electronic, and it’s very fond of sending queasy hailstorms of grainy static, and mutating sound signals in any way that will produce an emotional response. These sounds are often distressed to the point of self-destruction, but while it’s uneasy listening, there’s something narcotic, something deeply addictive, about the album.
Each piece is quite distinctive, but at times their semi-industrial drum patterns (echoing early ‘70s German band Faust on ‘Faults’) and dubby, Scorn-like bottom wobble gets a kind of mantric groove on.

Sometimes the textures are allowed to carry a piece, with bleeping synths at the back, and what sounds like live wires dancing on a trampoline taking up front position of the sound field.
There’s much use of extreme stereo panning, fragments of female voice, lots of overdriven sounds, cognitive dissonance.
There’s a weird beauty to this ugly, fractured music, and I have to admit I find it quite moving; too often, music is so literal that it’s hard to take seriously. Seefeel makes music that goes in search of complex emotions, new ways to express the inexpressible. GARY STEEL
SOUND = 4/5
MUSIC = 4.5/5

Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here

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