In the heady days of the early 1990s, a wave of intrepid young bands made some unexpected connections between their post-punk approach to music, the exultant electronic reverberations from the early days of Acid House and the sonic sculptures crafted by classic producers like Phil Spector. As these sounds coalesced, Spector’s vaunted “Wall Of Sound” would be a handy touchstone for the immersive latticework of distortion and melody that would be off-handedly labeled later as “Shoegaze”.
Even amongst a quasi-movement as loosely defined and musically divergent as this, Seefeel emerged as the black sheep. Conceived by Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock, Seefeel immediately amalgamated electronics in ways most of their peers in traditional bands would never dream of, these sounds fused deeply with guitar, drums and bass into urgent melodic waves that on early releases like Quique and Succour oscillated between hopefulness, introspection and downright menace. As Warp co-founder Steve Beckett says, “Seefeel were the
first band that Warp signed who had guitars – they were brave to sign to us because they became the ‘older siblings’ in the family and took all the flak by breaking the unwritten rules of an (up until then) purely dance label.
After 1995’s ‘Succour’ they stopped performing live, but we always kept in touch and then for the first Warp20
show in Paris we asked if they would play.”
The immediate result of their live reformation in Paris was the single “Faults”, the band’s ranks now including bassist Shigeru Ishihara and former Boredoms drummer Iida Kazuhisa (aka E-Da). Their first release since 1996’s (CH-VOX), “Faults” proved to be a clear and welcome progression for a group that had never been predictable. Drawing on everything from gamelan and krautrock to the fringes of underground bass music, Seefeel’s new material has been met with a resounding “welcome back” and an instant affinity with new peers such as Gang Gang Dance, HEALTH, Battles and Salem.