Seefeel – Seefeel (Warp) LP
Well, here it is – the new, self-titled album from re-formed UK post-rock legends Seefeel, featuring a new version of the single “Faults”, as well as the widely-circulated MP3 preview “Dead Guitars”. The advance buzz created by those tracks suggested that Seefeel would either be absolutely phenomenal or a little bit samey. Both tracks implied a new formula at work, mixing slow-motion cyber dub riddims with viciously granulated guitar textures and over-modulated bass charges. A fantastic formula – one that produced thrillingly original and eerily beautiful music – but a formula, all the same.
The full album doesn’t entirely dispel the fears of samey-ness but it does allow listeners to see and hear this formula in its correct context. As with Oval’s O, the limited sound palette may prevent this album from gaining immediate classic status but – frankly – there’s nothing else standing in the way. Aside from anything, the material here is incredibly strong, with Sarah Peacock’s wraith-like (but in no way insubstantial) vocal melodies branding a number of songs indelibly on the listener’s memory.
Perhaps more to the point, Seefeel also features a number of drum-free abstract passages that lend a palpable sense of dynamism to the overall work, preventing any hint of monotony from ever setting in. In fact, this album is probably more varied than the band’s classic debut, Quique, which similarly explored a specific set of processed guitar textures over the length of an entire album. Clearly, this new record is simply an example of Seefeel doing what Seefeel does best. And tracks like “Rip-Run” are as good as anything the band has ever released.
Spoiler alert: there’s very little chance, even at this early stage, that Seefeel won’t be in Bubblegum Cage III’s top ten albums of 2011. It’s that good.
The official release date seems to be January 31st, when you should be able to buy it from Boomkat.