SEEFEEL, the brilliant British dub-ambient-electronica outfit who recorded beautiful, eerie and hypnotic work for Too Pure, Warp and Rephlex through the Nineties are the subject of a long-overdue reissue campaign, arriving in May – and there’s a comprehensive new compilation, too.
The band, who released the hallucinatory and dubby Quique for Too Pure in 1994, signed for Warp almost immediately afterwards, the legendary Sheffield label’s Steve Beckett beng wholly beguiled with them.
He said in an interview at the time: “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.”
With a sound that seemed to push way into the future from roots in shoegaze, they proved difficult to categorize easily; much, much more guitary than the electronica of the Warp scene, they were simultaneously moving into far more eerie, minimalist places than contemporary shoegaze was exploring – even further out into a new language of the dreamscape than Slowdive’s overlooked third, Pygmalion.
And the first album to get a reissue is their first for Warp from 1995, the sparse, spooky Succour. That will now come as a 3xLP redux issue with bonus tracks. And it wasn’t just Warp that adored their push for a future aesthetic.
A final compilation for Too Pure, Pure, Impure, collecting early classics such as “Minky Starshine”, also included two Aphex Twin remixes of “Time To Find Me”; the Cornish electronica legend undertook the two remixes gratis on the condition that at some point Seefeel would record an album for his Rephlex imprint. And a mini-album, (Ch-Vox), would follow for Rephlex in ’96, although by this point the original line-up had foundered and the recordings were mostly Mark Clifford steering alone, and heading for the sound he would later create as Disjecta and Woodenspoon. This record will now be issued as a double LP, also with bonus tracks.
Warp also released two excellent EPs, Starethrough and Fracture/Tied; as with the albums above, these will set you back a pretty penny – but they’re being compiled along with the rare Autechre remix of “Spangle” and the previously unreleased Transition mix of “Starethrough” as as a 2xLP, entitled St / Fr / Sp.
Need more; maybe still a fan of the little shiny, silver format? Well there’s actually a 4xCD compilation of the band’s mid-90s’ output coming out too, totalling a whopping 43 tracks, including all of the album and EP material mentioned above and many, many extra bonus cuts from the archive. That’s entitled Rupt & Flex (1994 – 96).
And there’s a hyper-exclusive Bleep exclusive 12″, two live recordings, “Spangle” and “Gatha”, 450 only, rejoicing in the none-more-Seefeel, table of the elements-style title, Sp 19 / Ga 19.
All the releases will be available digitally; turning back to the physical, each will come with new liner notes by Mark Clifford and singer Sarah Peacock; and you’re in for a sonic treat as everything has been remastered from the original DAT by Berlin Stefan Betke, the boss of ~Scape and best known for his deliciously dubby recordings as Pole. Expect these to sound great.
Which only leaves this: remove your plastic from your wallet, choose judiciously. These are beautiful, exploratory records that have more than stood the test of time – they helped shape so much of the electronica conversation that’s passed in the intervening years.
Seefeel’s Rupt & Flex (1994 – 96), Succour (Redux), (Ch-Vox) (Redux), St / Fr / Sp and Sp 19 / Ga 19 will be released on May 14th; you can pre-order your selections here, now.