If Succour was Seefeel’s departure from the cul de sac of shoegaze music to wander through the desert of abstract electronics, 1996’s (Ch-Vox) which has been out of print since its original release is the sound of a group building a civilisation in the remotest spot, revelling in their sound far away from the rest of the world, their tones arriving to us like strange signals through the air. Singular as each of Seefeel’s LPs are, (Ch-Vox) could well be their definitive statement, a compelling album fuelled by deepest mystery.
Chief among its mystique is that it’s often hard to tell what we’re hearing most of the time. The humid drones of ‘E-hix²’ could have been created using samples, guitar feedback or a string quartet. The clipped ambience of ‘Utreat (Complete)’ ambiguously suggests either a piano or a bass guitar, a grainy twang-thump which revisits the closing motif of Succour, signposting the maturation of the Seefeel project. Although, ‘maturation’ isn’t quite the right word; (Ch-Vox) is amniotic in nature, each of its tracks boiled down to elemental values, co-mingling with plentiful breathing space. ‘Hive’ gives us the first hint of a clangorous beat, rendered alien by its ambient backdrop of what sounds like the howling of wolves.
This expanded edition of (Ch-Vox) comes loaded with unreleased material on the second LP that’s just as thought-provoking, delivering an even more rounded experience for this immersive album.