There, it's happened again. Just now. That tingly feeling that makes the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand straight on end like the surface of a cheap crushed velvet painting. It's funny how sound can do that. Reach into your head and touch your heart.
There it is again. That voice. That sweet voice. Floating amidst shimmering guitar and electronics. All anchore by thick, murky dub, A groove that doesn't necessarily inspire you to shake your ass. But merely invites you to feel. See?
well you will. Quique (pro- nounced Keek) is the debut album from the London-based fourpiege Seefeel, released Stateside this month on Astralwerks. A recording that has both comforted and confounded press and public alike, as it defies traditional musical Categories and corporate labeling; any attempts to do so may result in statements ranging from merely vague to down right slanderous. Words like ambient and prog rock pop up in the press more often than not. When all that really matters is that the moment you feel their dense sonic mesh gently ooze around your brain, you know you've got the Quique inside.
It's an early spring evening, and those responsible are preparing for an upcoming UK gig with Autechre. Seefeel are Mark Clifford, 26 on guitar and technology, Sarah Peacock, 23, voice, Daren Seymour, 25, bass and Justin Fletcher, 26, percussion, and they've consented to a bit of a trans-atlantic chat. Actually Sarah and Mark get the assignment this time around. So, I ring them up to see what's wot. Both are extremely friendly. And, more importantly, Sarah's got a great laugh...
RV: So, how dld all thls come about?
SR We met through adverts, really.
MC: I was just looking to join a band that was doing something interesting. But I must have gone through about 15 or 20 band...auditions and stuff. And just didn't meet anybody who was on the same wavelength. So I thought I'd better get my own band together. Started putting advert, I met Justin through an advert in college. And Sarah about a year later
RV: You do understand that you've confused everyone, Press, retailer. I'm sure radio programmers are horrified. Especially in America. Only the listener seems to understand, and only while he or she is listening. Afterwards it's difficult to put into words what you've just experiences. How would you describe your sound?
SP: Well, we generally wouldn't. Radio programmers and record people have put labels on things in order to do their job. To get a handle on it to sell it to people. But if people just listen to it, they can appreciate it for what it is without having to think about what it is, and put it into categories. We just want to get on with it and do the stuff we like and keep being excited by it.
MC: Live, we used to describe it as aural glue. Because it is really a sort of thick sound. I don't know how we'd describe the record because it's not something we think about. We just do it.
RV: Because your sound is so intangible, there have been loads of comparisons and labeling to put it all into context for the average fellow. My Bloody Valentine, Phillip Glass, Slowdive, ambient rock or techno...Are such comparisons valid? And how does the band deal with them?
MC: The music papers have tried to link us with all sorts of things. It's irritating. We don't see ourselves as ambient for a start. That's one thing we called a lot which we don't understand. Our conception of of what ambient is what Brian Eno was. Spaced out background music that's part of your environment. We hope that our music's a bit more than that really. but perhaps the good thing about all comparisons is that they're all right, but none of them are right. it's got all those elements..a sort of mish mash, really.
SP: We usually ignore the comparisons. If you think about it too much you end up being restricted by it. if you start to put a handle on yourself the other people do you tend not to bring other things. We are quite concerned with not wanting to sound like anyone else. Someone said out first record sounded like the Orb meets My Bloody Valentine. Obviously it's got elements of other things because it comes from reasonably diverse musical backgrounds. Some of us are from basically interesting indie rock like My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, that sort of thing. Cocteau Twins and also a hint of techno and dub. But we hope that we're doing something that's unique to us
RV: Is the band's current sound consistent on Quique?
MC: Oh God yes. Definitely. We've just released out first EP for Warp. It's very different than Quique. It's more stripped down. There's more voice in it. It's more experimental. But it's not weird or anything. Quique is very tame in places. The new stuff is a lot darker, a lot heavier. The technology is a lot more advanced. We've learned a lot since Quique.
SP: We're all really proud of the album. But there are sounds on it that we don't (use anymore?). The new EP is quite different. There's a lot more space in it really. A bit more sinister sounding. It's not as blissed out as the album.
RV: How does an idea for a piece originate and develop. Could you describe the creative process?
SP: Normally it would start with Mark, our technology-mesiter. It starts with a different thing each time. Sometimes it'll be a drum pattern or a guitar sound or a bit of sequenced looped guitar. See where it goes. Stick a bassline on there, a bit of vocal.
MC: It's not really very clear cut. Sometimes there's an interesting sound that develops into a whole track. Sometimes there might be some sort of cord sequence in your head. "Thought you" was like that. Sometimes it's inspiration, ideas. Sometimes it's just hard work.
RV: Quique is rich in emotional content. Even so, it's still difficult to identify what emotions are being communicated and received. It's dark dreamy, dense, soothing, all at the same time. It all depends on the listener for emotional interpretation. Is this intentional?
MC: There's no intention. When I'm writing, how that track comes out just sort....((((if anyone has the rest of this interview, please get in touch, thanks)))
Origin unknown, article transcribed by from some scans on Seefeel's social network page.