WITH their comprehensive (and wholly exciting for those of us who fell for their exploratory, dubby charms the first time round) reissue campaign for Warp under way and those later era albums and compilations due in expanded and remastered pressings mid-May, Seefeel have just dropped a digital-only EP of tracks from the archive, Reduct.
The four-track EP teases for the 4CD boxset, Rupt & Flex, the Warp album Succour and the following Rephlex LP, Ch-Vox; and a newly collated anthology of the EPs, St / Fr / Sp – alongside the Bleep exclusive “Sp19” b/w “Ga19” 12”.
Reduct shws just how creatively potent the band were, revealing a quartet of tracks unreleased at the time, all remastered by Berlin’s Stefan Betke, aka the wonderful digidub artist Pole; and the ambient shoegaze dub they had arrived at has more than stood the test of time.
“As One” and “Burned” are culled from the Succour sessions, their first album for Warp; you can swathe yourself in the video for “Burned” down below, a drift of electronica texture in a minor key that’s blissful and presages much of the scene that was to follow for Kranky and the like.
“Evio” dates from the same period as (Ch-Vox), the third Seefeel album recorded for Rephlex as a return favour for the remixes Aphex Twin had done for the band on an early EP. Sarah Peacock’s vocals are foregrounded on this track, albeit as abstracted textures, showing correspondences with like-minds in one facet the Cocteau Twins, who they toured with during this period; Seefeel’s Mark Clifford also remixed a whole EP of Cocteaus’ songs, the beautiful Otherness; and Succour was recorded at the Cocteau’s September Sound Studios.
Seefeel vocalist Sarah Peacock recalls: “Recording at September Sound involved long journeys across South London to Twickenham, the chance to spot Pete Townshend in the local shop, evening riverside pints and assistance from Cocteaus’ colleagues like Mitsuo, homesick for Japan, often in the kitchen concocting something delicious with fresh herbs; and Lincoln, who easily fixed a dodgy switch on Mark’s essential Whammy pedal.
“Simon was often in the office, Liz came by one time for a baked potato and Robin would occasionally poke his head round the door with a dry remark, once offering an irresistible invitation to go up in the attic for a nose around his gear archive.”
Reduct concludes with the ‘transition mix’ of “Starethrough”, jettisoning its industrial percussion in favour of ab undulating gamelan pattern.
Reduct is out now on all digital streaming platforms.
All the aforementioned releases and rereleases 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 ambient and 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.