Post-Rocktoberfest: Seefeel – Faults (Warp) 10″
This year’s Post-Rocktoberfestivities were going to a open with a review of One Little Indian’s official re-issue of the Disco Inferno Five EPs bootleg, which was supposed to get released in September. Unfortunately, the street date for that long-awaited compilation has been put back until November (shockingly, with no vinyl edition planned at all!!!)
Well, that makes Seefeel’s Faults EP the most exciting UK post-rock release of the year so far, doesn’t it? Anticipation for this 10″ has been sky-high ever since Warp dropped a streamable preview of the title track. So… does the rest of the EP live up to the promise of “Faults” itself? Well, yes and no.
First of all, the tracks are, in and of themselves, absolutely bloody fantastic. Honestly, this is probably the best material Seefeel has produced since its classic debut album Quique – and yet the new EP doesn’t really sound very much like Quique. In fact, it doesn’t sound very much like anything else, which is precisely why it’s so exciting.
But Faults isn’t actually a very satisfying EP because it’s rather lacking in variety. Really, it’s more of a single. The distinction may seem slight but it is significant. The song names are a bit of a give-away. The track titles on side B (“Folds” and “Clouded”) seem like mispronunciations of the track titles on side A (“Faults” and “Crowded”). It’s a pretty good bet, then, that the second two cuts are remixes of the first two – particularly as fragments of the vocal from “Faults” are clearly audible on “Folds”. In fact, “Crowded” is actually pretty similar to “Faults” – so maybe the last three songs are all remixes of the title track.
Of course some would argue that, just because a record happens to consist of a series of remixes, it doesn’t mean the record won’t work just fine. As Dave put it on the UK Post-Rock Group: “The thing with the ‘remixes’ just reminds me of how Quique is basically a series of variations on one sound… they’ve just changed that sound now!”
Anyway, if anyone could shed light on the precise relationship between these tracks, this here blog would be terribly grateful. The thing is, there’s just enough variety that you can’t be sure about it. “Clouded”, in particular, takes the EP’s glitch-dub formula into an extremely abstract realm – an ear-tricking soundscape of surely-impossible textures.
Which brings us back to the key point: there’s never been anything quite like this. In theory, the elements are all recognizable: digi-dub bass, glitchy beats, dreampop vocals and highly processed guitar. But listing these elements doesn’t really do justice to the intricately wrought sonic material that’s used to build them.
Here’s the kicker, though – because Faults is so brilliant and yet somewhat unsatisfactory as an EP, it really, really leaves you wanting more. Album, please. Sooner rather than later!