Seekae's sophomore LP +Dome, has been crafted in the wake of post-hip-hop Brainfeeder raves in the US West Coast and the post-dubstep diaspora worldwide. It had to be. This Sydney group has likely had little personal contact with the stuff firsthand. But that's where +Dome's strength lies. Equal parts rock, hip-hop and experimental, it's one of the most interesting records of the year thus far.
Much like the genre-weaving Mount Kimbie accomplished on Crooks & Lovers, +Dome defies categorization. And like Mount Kimbie—for whom they were handpicked to support on the duo's Australian tour earlier this year—the group makes music that's designed to be played. On the Seekae stage, a drum kit is thrown together with an MPC and several synthesizers while the band's members scramble to trigger samples from a Roland SP-404 and two MacBooks.
What separates them from Mount Kimbie, though, is their musical pedigree. The Mount Kimbie sound is arguably, for the most part, a product of dubstep. Seekae's has emerged from a musical diet that seems to encompass everything and nothing at the same time. "Go," a lesson in violent build and release if there ever was one, has an aggressive tension that rears its head throughout +Dome intermittently. It contrasts markedly with the smooth textures that the album is primarily comprised of. On "Blood Bank," a brooding intro gives way to a fuzzy bass workout, triggered vocal chops and hazy synthesized chords.
While the more ambient moments show Seekae's knack for experimentation, it's atop of a thick kick drum that they work best. The ambitious strings across "Underling" and layered vocals of "You'll" never quite match the brooding melancholy of "+Dome," where keys and white noise mingle with a beat with a BPM that hovers in the mid 60s. And while parts of the album just don't quite fit—"Yodal," an awkward ode to 8-bit hip-hop, sticks out like a sore thumb—the caliber of the soundscape as a whole more than makes up for these occasional lapses.
Tracklist: Seekae - +Dome01. Go
03. Blood Bank
04. Reset Head
10. Rock’s Performance