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Seefeel Seefeel
Released 28 January 2011
Producer Mark Clifford
Label Warp
Length 51:34
Genre Alternative, indie
Website myspace.com/seefeelmyspace

They’re signed to Warp, had their last album ((CH-VOX)) released on Rephlex, and last performed live with Boards of Canada. That’s a CV you can be proud of. And it’s a lot to live up to. This, their first album since 1996, arrives with Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin as its standards.

So, how does it fare?

The opening 'O-on One', is a series of burning, distressed transmissions that paves the way for the blurting feedback and elastic Doppler shifts of 'Dead Guitars'. Far from creating an ambient mantra with its repetitions, it sounds like a pendulum swinging to a standstill. The monotony here is its downfall. 'Steps Up' only adds to the disappointment with a slight, unimaginative vapidity that sounds like a stray fly drifting aimlessly around a room.

Occasional odd noises –such as the Forbidden Planet B-movie fade on 'Faults'– interrupt what has by that stage become an interminable drone. Metronomic drums and see-saw rhythms appear on almost every track. 'Airless' and 'Sway' are so reduced to this that they cannot justify their presence on the album. Placed alongside Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin, Seefeel is doing poorly indeed. And yet it is difficult to judge them on their own merits when they consciously refer to Boards of Canada (on 'Making') and Aphex Twin (on 'Aug30'), the latter juxtaposing itself with Aphex Twin’s Erik Satie inflected 'Avril 14th'.

Certain record labels are guarantees of quality. Warp, pioneering and leftfield, are such a label. But duds like this are not expected and it is the good grace of the label’s fans that can allow Warp the time to make amends.

- Paul McGranaghan