Available August 27, 2013
Our Modern Classics Records imprint, in association with Medical Records, is marking the 20th anniversary of a unique record – Seefeel’s Quique. The London quartet’s debut album (pronounced ‘keek’) is a dreamy confluence of dub, abstract electronic music and minimalist composition techniques, and remains a touchstone record in the ambient and shoegaze movements.
Quique first oscillated into the world in July 1993 via UK label Too Pure, joining the dots between Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine and Aphex Twin. Its most striking quality was its sheer sense of invention – and the fact it was instrumental except for wordless vocals from singer/guitarist Sarah Peacock, lying low in the mix and treated as another instrument.
The band emerged in London in 1992, releasing an EP, More Like Space, and finding a kindred spirit in fast-rising electronica star Aphex Twin. Before long, they were carving out an entirely new sound. “There was a sharp shift to wanting to do something definitive, because this is what I began to respect in others — a sense of striking out, of urgency,” says guitarist Mark Clifford in the extensive liner notes by Dave Segal accompanying this reissue. Being a debut album, it’s one that finds invention in economy. Quique’s unusual sound was not the result of an extravagant setup or a loaded, state-of-the-art studio, even if the guitars and vocals especially existed in a universe apart from everything else happening at the time. It was instead recorded in an attic studio in Camden, north London.
Seefeel left Too Pure for the more electronically-oriented Warp Records after Quique, and with the move assumed a more severe electronic approach. For its invention, its unique sound and the brevity with which its creators pursued it, Quique represents a prized moment for fans of electronica. The album is notable not just for the artists and records that trailed in its wake, but for the effect it has on listeners too. Clifford once noted, “_Quique_ was used with autistic children – I have letters from people [in Liverpool] saying they’ve used it therapeutically with children… And I’ve had letters from people who’ve given birth to Quique.”
“We were not afraid of any possibilities,” says Seefeel bassist Daren Seymour in the liner notes. “And in fact, we enjoyed challenging the status quo as we saw it.”
Reissued on double vinyl in an expanded gatefold sleeve, now is the time to revisit this immersive record – or get lost in it for the first time.