Forming close to 20 years ago, Seefeel have had a rollercoaster career consisting of signing with Too Pure in 1993, moving to Warp Records in 1994, playing their last show in 1997 and then reforming in 2008. Despite the silences within those 20 years, they've managed to influence countless bands and release some great records. Last month they released their self-titled album, which happened to be their first full-length album since 1996 (Rephlex). We caught up with the band to talk about the album, their influences and John Peel. Describe the new album, for 405 readers who might not be familiar with Seefeel. Abstract/hypnotic, blissful/unsettling, melodious/dissonant. How do you go about creating a track from concept to the finished article? More often than not it starts with Mark having guitar and rhythm ideas and a basic structure, I'll add vocal bits, Shige adds bass and we either work it out in rehearsal or Mark assembles a finished track. Sometimes we'll record live drums and vocals in a studio, sometimes the finished track bears no relation to the original save for one element. Since Seefeel formed in 1992, music technology has evolved, creating the 'bedroom producer' generation – kids with open and instant access to music production software. How have the individual members of Seefeel developed alongside this evolution of technology? We've got so many new toys to play with! The possibilities for sound manipulation are incredible, I can loop vocal parts live and create harmonies, Mark has some amazing new effects and, even though the principle is the same, computer sequencing technology has come so far from the Atari ST we used to use it's mind boggling. As with many other artists and bands who formed in the 1990s, John Peel's radio show and the NME played important parts in Seefeel's make-up and formation. Do you see equivalents of these outlets today? After Peel died Radio 1 replaced his shows with three other DJs who between them could not cover the scope of his shows! Rob Da Bank and Huw Stephens are still there, also there's John Kennedy at XFM, Resonance FM, Artrocker and many of the 6 Music programmes. The web has countless 'radio' shows, blogs, websites, podcasts etc which profile new music- fairly daunting to anyone trying to sift through, and I don't like the way music seems more and more to be defined by genre (if you like this why not try...etc). The great thing about Peel was his eclecticism - I like to be exposed to stuff I'd never hear otherwise. Much of Seefeel's music are by default extraordinary soundscapes and inevitably make for an incredible accompaniment to cinematic experiences, similar to work by Pram and Broadcast. Do you see visualise pictures or images during the Seefeel creative process either live or in the studio? Not really. It's a shame for me because I studied Animation for my degree, but it's been a long time since I had any ideas on that front. I see music as totally abstract, and though it is exciting to match one to the other it's almost impossible to conjure up visual representation for musical ideas.. Seefeel tracks often feature heavy bass lines, reverb and echo effects - dub music is obviously a big influence for you individually and collectively. What are your thoughts on dubstep, and what else do you see dub developing into? I'm not massively up on these scenes now but dubstep seems pretty exciting, I believe there are a few artists taking a 'retro' approach to reggae and dub which is a move I approve of!
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My Bloody Valentine, John Cale, Aphex Twin and the Cocteau Twins are all cited as influences on the Seefeel sound. Which other artists producing and performing music today do you see as being the future of live and electronic music in general? Can't say I know enough about what's out there really - Flying Lotus is amazing, Mira Calix and Tyondai Braxton are taking things in an interesting direction. What are your thoughts about the general health of the UK music scene at the moment? Yet again I'm not as aware of the current scene as I should be perhaps. There's some great pop music around, I like that some of it has emerged from underground grime, hip-hop and retro movements. Plenty of really good female artists which is a heartening thing. Not so keen on the over-use of autotune/vocoder though. Seefeel never really formally split up. In the [much reported] period of hiatus between the release of Ch-Vox in 1996 and the re-release of Quique in 2007, where side projects Scala and Cliffordandcalix came into their own, did you ever see a point where Seefeel would produce and perform music together? After Ch-Vox we did a bit more recording, and played one gig in 1997, but nothing came of it and we sort of lost touch for a long time. I really thought it would never happen! You welcomed new members Shigeru Ishihara and Iida Kazuhisa a couple of years back – what have they brought to the Seefeel sound? They've helped us unlock a previously unknown capacity for improvisation, provided a rock solid and creative rhythm section, and Shige particularly has added a whole world of sounds and ideas from his arsenal of FX madness! Will audiences who have seen you live before notice a difference in the Seefeel live set-up and experience? The set up's the same but with a bit more technology in use on stage. We don't (have to) stick so rigidly to the recorded track structures like we used to, and it's louder and more exciting than before - for us anyway. You have the release and a UK and European tour lined up. Where then for Seefeel? We're hoping to do some festivals over the summer, tour in some new places (particularly America), and get on with recording more new stuff as soon as possible.
Their self-titled album is out now via Warp Records and you can see them at the following shows 18/03/2011 UK, Manchester @ Islington Mill 19/03/2011 IE, Dublin @ Button Factory
 21/03/2011 UK, Glasgow @ The Arts School 22/03/2011 UK, Birmingham @ Hare & Hounds
 24/03/2011 FR, Paris @ Point Ephemere
 25/03/2011 BE, Brussels @ AB Club
 26/03/2011 NL, Amsterdam @ Paradiso
 27/03/2011 DE, Koln @ Gebaude 9 
 28/03/2011 DE, Berlin @ Postbahnhof