SEEFEEL

Seefeel

(Warp)

Seefeel's early releases for Too Pure Records represent some of the most transcendently blissful recordings ever. With their eerie mesh of diaphanous guitar radiation and aquatic dub pressure, they challenged My Bloody Valentine's Loveless for shoegaze-rock supremacy. Seefeel's later releases for Warp and Rephlex, however, move toward rigid, cold electronic abstractions that don't play to their strengths. But after a 14-year hiatus, Seefeel return with a self-titled album that finds them recapturing their old magic without too much regurgitation.

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Helmed by Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock, Seefeel brings the latter's dreamy, creamy coo back to prominence, and boosts and roughs up the low end to 21st-century specs (new members bassist Shigeru Ishihara on bass and ex-Boredoms drummer Iida Kazuhisa help toward that end). Tracks like "Rip-Run," "Making," and "Aug 30" show that Seefeel have been paying attention to recent developments in the UK's post-dubstep scene; they sport heavier, more distorted bass while the F/X'd guitars disperse into the ether with alluring elusiveness. This striking contrast between the bass and treble ends of the sound spectrum has been one of Seefeel's most distinctive elements, as in the abrasive dub lurch of "Dead Guitars" and the nine-minute album closer "Sway." Here they've combined traits from their shoegaze and IDM phases into a vastly rewarding new hybrid, achieving a kind of angelic ominousness that very few artists can pull off.

Most band comebacks after lengthy layoffs are ill advised. But Seefeel defy the common musical plague of erosion over time with a record that furthers their adventurous blurring of genres. This is another bracing example of Seefeel's otherworldly beauty, shorn of all sentimentality and comfortable signifiers. recommended