Seekae are three unassuming guys from Sydney. They emerged with a debut release in 2008 of ‘The Sound of Trees Falling on People’ and earlier this month pulled the punches again with a new album entitled +DOME.
Watching the trio perform live at the Workers Club on Tuesday 26th April was a truly solid electronic experience. Onstage there were three bowed figures behind laptops who occasionally picked up instruments to enhance the layers. More than just metal and plastic communicating to each other, they used live guitar, drums, melodica and numerous synths to achieve an infectious and itinerant sound. Alex Cameron went to the back of stage towards a drum kit and sat down. He started up a smooth single stick rhythm with bass drum splintering in steadily, and the funereal bass organ overlaid revealed it to be ‘Gnor’, a track off their new album +DOME.
Bearded George Nicholas was to the right, Sideburns John Hassel to the left. To get a sense of Seekae’s sound, imagine an awesome drum beat, that you can’t help wanting to move to. Lay over it infectious loops and beats. Then a vacuum cleaner hum that is amplified and softened at whim. Balloon hisses of static that curl out of the speakers, with frenetic shifts and drum kicks that are masterfully shuttled by dextrous fingers up and down the mixing desk.
Lulled into a bizarre imaginative space by the click and explosion of sounds on stage you see yourself staring at the tree picture backdrop behind the stage at Workers Club where a cluster of painted leaves suddenly seemed to look uncannily like the Michael Bolton in profile.
They announced ‘we’re going to play some earlier ones’, and an audience member piped up in enthusiastic response – They launched into ‘Void’ from The Sound of Trees Falling on People which starts with a distorted vocal, as though pushed through a button, and then a metallic dog’s ‘arf, arf, arf’ fed through a cable; and waves of the melodica, skilfully played by Nicholas whose even breaths and timing gave the wheezy instrument a seamless quality.
The kidney shifting bass and washed out tron synth of 4LB evoked a strong response from the crowd. The Seekae gents use some pretty interesting sounds as part of their electronic pastiche, and they know how to build, making songs dynamic and diversionary.
Some of the sounds and effects they used were like the click of a door locking, or potato cut into blocks and slammed against butcher’s paper, or a series of machine gun drum rolls; bullets scattered, round after round. They launched into ‘3,’ a track from +DOME which had an underwater bubble resonance that surged into Star Wars’ Galactica only to subside back into bathtub percussion once more.
It is great seeing this kind of music played live, seeing exactly when and which parts are played in such a morass of sound. All three were studiously attentive, focused in on the various lines and layers of sound that they were piling up to the roof.
Seekae gave a compelling and engaging live show, with the intimacy of home studio in the sense that they could be playing this anyway regardless of the crowd watching and responding. But we were, and Seekae were well received by a rather sizable crowd, undiminished considering it was the last day of a 5 day Easter weekend.
– Anaya Latter