Label: Too Pure
Release Date: July 1993
Quique is one of those timeless albums. When shoegaze was a one of the prominent genres in the early nineties London collective, Seefeel (comprising of Mark Clifford, Sarah Peacock, Justin Fletcher & Daren Seymour), posed as a band who escaped the clutches of the formula, further boggling the minds of those who had their ears pleasured by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride.
Although garnering a derivative aesthetic in the distant cousin of shoegaze, Seefeel provided extra dimensions in their humble beginnings, honing in on electronic and ambient soundscapes that have since been pilfered by many a band.
Perhaps not a direct influence, however I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the likes of Bradford Cox drawing inspiration from Quique prior to Deerhunter’s Cryptograms seeing the light of day. There have been many other timely success stories thanks to the groundwork conducted by Seefeel, all those moons ago.
With the core of the band (Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock) reconvening after a 14 year absence, the focal point these days points towards an electronic leaning; however the timelessness of Quique is the main talking point, as far as I’m concerned.
The album grabs its audience from the first 20 seconds, as ‘Climatic Phase 3’ eases into the stereo speakers, oozing with undercurrents of melodic purity. ‘Plainsong’ holds a true Cocteau Twins leaning with Sarah Peacock’s vocal providing a sturdy foil for further sprinklings of ambience and drone.
‘Filter Dub’ is the clearest indication of the band’s future departure from their derivative roots into more of a Warp Records kind of vibe, while the album closer, ‘Signals’, provides a perfect depiction of the lonely streets of London, only bettered by the likes of fellow Londoners, Burial and Bark Psychosis.
Everyone has a “go to” album in their collection. Given the fact that Quique was released nineteen years ago and I’m sitting here waxing lyrical over its wholesome quality says it all. For more information on Seefeel and associated acts, check out the following:
Seefeel Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seefeel
Scala (Sarah Peacock, Justin Fletcher & Daren Seymour side project) - http://www.last.fm/music/Scala
Disjecta (Mark Clifford solo project) - http://www.last.fm/music/Disjecta