Have you heard ‘My Sister’ by Tindersticks? It’s probably the best spoken word evocation of a childhood filled with death, arson and sexual scandal available, and has a section where the young, blind sister of the title breathlessly describes what she imagines is outside her window: “I can see little twinkling stars / Like Christmas tree lights in faraway windows / Rings of brightly coloured rocks floating around orange and mustard planets…” It’s this sense of out of focus wonder that permeates R. Seiliog’s debut EP, an instrumental 5-track sketchbook of whooshes and hums from Robin Edwards. You may know him as the drummer from ace garage dreamers H. Hawkline, and while reports of the R. Seiliog live experience mention a five piece rocking on krauty keyboard clatter, ‘Shuffles’ feels more like Robin in his bedroom, coaxing weird sounds from distant computer programs. It makes sense that this EP was originally to be released on great local label The Lows And The Highs: sharing that roster’s wide-eyed fuzziness is a good place to be.
Opening track ‘Sturdy Seams/Wingsuit Dreams’ sounds very unlike Tindersticks: a gentle rush of analogue purring that takes a simple descending line and loops and coats it in pastel keyboard tones while fading the whole thing into hazy sunshine. The pure lolloping warmth is brilliant; I’m writing this drunk so I’m going to say it sounds like God’s ringtone. ‘Crawlback Butterfly”s stalking prongs of noise recall the human electronica of Holden or even Vitalic, but again put through an amateur, home-brewed filter. It’s uneasy but approachable, receding and growing like some skittering post rock poking. More bleeps fired up for ‘To Be A Sgerbwd’, continuing ‘Shuffles”s theme of initial refrains being gradually obscured by washes of static and interference. This one’s clean and toylike, not going anywhere specific but fading out nicely all the same. Some cranky guitar prods ‘Gee Geffyl Sbaeneg’ open, heavy on reverberating bass notes, and this too gets wiped out in a building sheen of fine noise. The last two minutes are a beautiful bliss out weirdly reminiscent of The Lows And The Highs label dudes The Failed NASA Experiment, which itself is praise and a half.
‘Ty80 Legmelt’ places field recordings in a revolving door of sound layers and that’s it. An EP that nods towards Emeralds, Terry Reilly and Kraftwerk but still feels like some lucky bedroom daydream. An EP that shows that if you’re going to show your sketches off, they should be good enough to float off the page, and stick to your brain. ‘Shuffles’ is gorgeous, tricksy and rewarding, and makes the world a little better each listen.