Seefeel’s Rupt & Flex boxset, which gathers together their last two albums and a load of rare and unreleased tracks is on most best reissues year-end lists – and rightfully so. It remains some of the most other worldly, out there and yet beautifully entrancing music you could hope to listen to.
But enough has been said about it elsewhere. Indeed, there’s a great interview on the Warp site with Simon Reynolds but, for me, the best bit came right at the end, when Mark Clifford mentions: “In 1995 I did four remixes for Cocteau Twins, the Otherness EP. And then I toured with them. We had this little 15-minute remix segment that we did in the middle of each concert – ‘Pitch the Baby’, ‘Wax and Wane’, ‘Aloysius’. Quite weird! You can find it on YouTube.”
So, here they are – and what a wonderful collection it is. Weird? Maybe. Sublime, certainly.
It is a tantalising glimpse of what the Cocteau Twins might have sounded like with Mark producing them. They did team up for the Cocteaus’ Otherness EP, on which Mark remixed four Cocteaus tracks beautifully: Violaine and Seekers Who Are Lovers from Milk & Kisses, Feet Like Fins from Victorialand, and Cherry Coloured Funk from Heaven or Las Vegas.
You can find them all (plus the Cocteaus’ two underrated final albums and other sublime late period odds and sods) on the wonderful boxset Treasure Hiding: The Fontana Years. As Chris Roberts notes in the booklet, this period was horribly underrated at the time. We took them for granted. But listening to it now, the Fontana years is a treasure trove of gems.
I’m always intrigued by these wonderful glimpses of what might have been. The Cocteaus split not long after recording their final LP, denying us the chance to hear a Clifford-produced Cocteau Twins album. You would have thought he could have brought some left field wonder to Robin Guthrie’s largely underwhelming solo albums.
While much of Guthrie’s post-Cocteaus output is a bit too sickly sweet for these ears, his Bordeaux LP with Harold Budd from 2011 is a thing of beauty.
Clifford, meanwhile, has remained relatively quiet but for a brief return in 2020 with the Playback EP, which is an intriguing mix of quiet and klang. Kinda like Seefeel but minus Sarah’s enchanting vocals. As you might expect.
Listening to both, I still feel like Guthrie and Clifford could team up again – Guthrie smoothing Clifford’s edges and Clifford throwing a bit of dirt into Guthrie’s candy floss.