Seefeel

CH-VOX

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Mark Clifford and his mates have moved through labels like Astralwerks and Warp before landing at the front door of the Richard James label Rephlex, and along the way they have scattered some wonderful pearls. For (CH-VOX), it's an especially lush match of aesthetics -- sort of a condensed version of the Aphex Twin landmark record, Selected Ambient Works II. Picking up at the tail end of Seefeel's last album, Succour, we once again hear "Utreat," a dark meditation of phrases that makes Darren Seymour's bass sound like an electric piano, or is it Clifford's electric piano that sounds like a bass? Sarah Peacock's dreamy vocals hover almost out of earshot, and possibly her guitar is plugged in somewhere, too. It's difficult to say with many of their songs what instrument we're hearing, since treatments and effects play such a major role in production. The song "E-HIX2" breathes like a cluster of bleak skyscrapers with an extremely ambient take on feedback, and the title cut, "CH-VOX," is stark, patient, and ominous -- an abandoned submarine frozen in ice. "Hive" (with wonderful vocal loop effects) has Clifford revisiting his somewhat limited palette of percussion -- a piece that teeters between beauty and agitation, and an unfortunate weak spot for the album. The album closes with "Net," which is nothing short of masterpiece -- a journey, a drive through wet streets at midnight, and a finale so captivating you'll want to hear it twice -- somewhat postponing the disappointment that the album is only 33 minutes long.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:31
2 5:07
3 6:46
4 5:18
5 5:25
6
6:11
blue highlight denotes track pick