There’s a beating heart buried in the cold landscape of Glider, a warm 4/4 pulse that enervates the album’s echoing, looped drones and pulls the listener swiftly through the snow. By pinning barely-there electronic beats to his wisps of guitar melody, the Seattle-based producer turns ambient music into a hybrid strain of breathtakingly intimate, small-scale dance music.
There’s a separation of elements in The Sight Below’s songs that’s almost meteorological in nature: Tendrils of treated guitar trail lazy patterns in the sky like the Aurora Borealis (“At First Touch”), flicker in the distance like heat lightning (“Dour”), or expand and contract like time-lapse cloud formations (“Life’s Fading Light”); running along beneath, nearly obscured by the airborne phenomena, is an ever-present beat, which ranges from the mud-puddle throb in “Without Motion” to the tiny, insistent high-hats in “A Fractured Smile.” The tracks evolve at a deliberated pace, but as the tones overlap and the rhythms build, time oozes to a halt and hangs in blissfully frost-bitten suspended animation.
With Glider, The Sight Below has created a work of vertiginous sonic depth and exquisite melancholy: techno music for a dark, brooding night.
NOTE: The vinyl version is a different tracklist from the original CD/Digital version of Glider. Also, the 2xLP format comes in a 4-panel gatefold jacket with a matte finish and includes a download card of the digital bonus version. The digital bonus version stays true to the original Glider tracklist plus compiles early EP material and an unreleased remix by Eluvium.
The Sight Below is an alias of Rafael Anton Irisarri, an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, curator, producer and interdisciplinary artist based out of the Pacific Northwest.