Previously known as a band who leaned toward the electronic end of the dreamy, drifty mid-90s shoegaze sound, Seefeel return with a terrific new album that finds them venturing deeper into the leftfield, blurring the lines between guitars and synths further than ever. Defined by an ingenious knack for manipulating layers of feedback into oddly melodic hums and buzzes, this is a headphones record that gets more absorbing with every listen. The appropriately titled Dead Guitars sees those instruments glitched and phased into near-oblivion, their riffs reborn as weird digital signatures; on Airless, a gorgeous, faraway vocal hook undergoes a similar process amid a creepy haze of scratches and squalls.
When it became clear in the late '90s that no more records were forthcoming from either Seefeel or their break-away project Scala, the sense of unfinished business became palpable. Seefeel had been on an upward trajectory during the mid-'90s, releasing the breath-taking More Like Space EP and signing to Warp for the equally ambitious Starethrough EP. Both records reconciled My Bloody Valentine's experimental haze with the growing field of electronic listening music (which touched on ambient as well as techno).
Perceived as something of a year zero in certain UK music circles, 1993 heralded a glut of landmark records predetermining the oncoming rush of Britpop. Suede's eponymous debut, Blur's Modern Life Is Rubbish and PJ Harvey's Rid Of Me all landed on an unsuspecting public tired of grunge and its endless stream of Nirvana copyists. Two other groundbreaking albums also appeared that summer.
To place them in the context of some of their UK guitar peers, Seefeel neither had a singular creative presence like Kevin Shields, nor did they feature the lush pop songwriting of Ride. Instead they were an ideas band, trying to place techno/rave's quickening rhythms in the context of processed guitar music. Because they executed those ideas so perfectly, it makes sense that they've regrouped more than a decade later in the name of new ideas.
Cloud Nothings Cloud Nothings is a one-man studio band: 19-year-old Dylan Baldi, the songwriter whose frantic, fuzz-toned but ever-tuneful home recordings, from a suburban basement, were discovered online. He’s a throwback to the melodic early-1980s punk-pop of bands like the Replacements, with ….
Lacks the otherworldly impact of their 1990s releases, but well worth listening to. Chris Power 2011 Between 1993 and 1996, Seefeel developed a form of sample-based post-rock that used guitars to generate a sound closer to ambient techno. Following the release of Quique, their first and best album, Seefeel represented a new point on the map where shoegaze met the more euphoric, ethereal end of rave.