Album: SEEFEEL – Quique (Redux) (Too Pure PURE194 2007)

quique.jpgQuique was originally issued in 1993, but has just returned to the shelves in a new “redux” edition that contains a remastered version of the album together with a bonus disc of nearly an hour’s worth of unreleased or rare material. Seefeel emerged in the early nineties at the back-end of the “shoegazing” movement. The influence of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless is particularly marked as well as, to a lesser extent, the stately soundscapes of Slowdive. The band pushed things further, though, into a field where rock and ambient electronica melded. Indeed, the insert that accompanies this reissue includes a review of a live show the band did with fellow travellers Main that included a DJ set by Richard D James aka the Aphex Twin. Their music was made with the standard kit of guitars, bass and drums but was mixed into an unrecognisable, womb-like aural mash that sounded not a million miles away from the material found on James’ Selected Ambient Works Volume 2, released around the same time. Every sound is fuzzed, looped, processed and re-processed, but there is still enough structure for melodic lines to weave their way through the tracks.

This was bold and new for 1993. Fourteen years on Quique (keek or kweek?) still stands up (better, I think, than the much more lauded Loveless which has dated quite badly). The group would go on to sign to Warp and head further into an electronica direction, albeit with a more stripped-down sound. By 1996 they had split. It’s not hard to spot Seefeel’s influence on a lot of acts on the Kranky label, and other groups tarred with the post-rock brush. This well put together reissue turns a timely spotlight on to one of the pioneering bands in the avant-rock field.

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