There’s nothing quite like Seefeel at their mid-’90s peak. Warp Records
Seefeel, “Rough for Radio” (Warp)
Strange is the band who create one of the greatest albums of all time and then pretty much ditch the approach that launched them to those rarefied heights. But that’s what the English group Seefeel did after issuing Quique on Too Pure Records in 1993. A transcendently tranquil and eerily dubbed-out record, Quique rivaled My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless as a paragon of shoegaze-rock innovation. I had the good fortune to write liner notes for Medical Records/Light in the Attic‘s 2013 reissue of Quique. In them, I observed: “The remarkable thing about Quique is, despite its ectoplasmic quality, the music on it exudes a languid, if oblique, sensuality… [It] still sounds like an outlier, a platonic ideal for the standard rock-band lineup seeking novel ways to break out of traditional modes.”
The good news for Seefeel fans—who’ve not heard any new music from them since 2010’s Seefeel—is that Warp Records is releasing WXAXRXP Sessions, a box set of EPs by 10 of its most important artists to celebrate the UK label’s 30th anniversary, and Seefeel’s contribution to it includes two exclusive pieces cut for John Peel’s influential BBC show in 1994.
“Rough for Radio” was recorded around the time Seefeel were releasing the great transitional Starethrough and Fracture/Tied EPs, and before they put out the Succour LP in 1995. The song finds Seefeel contouring their Plutonian guitar radiation into a hypnotic haze while vocalist Sarah Peacock sighs angelically in the distance and a slow-motion dub-techno rhythm captivates you with every glitched downbeat and methodical bass pulse. Let us hope that Seefeel will play this previously unreleased gem at Neumos on November 8, the Seattle date on their debut North American tour.