The Murmur EP, The Sight Below’s follow-up to 2008’s full-length Glider, is a bracing step forward for the reclusive Seattle-based artist, comprising two new songs and two notable remixes. Whereas Glider was the picture of consistency—a seamless suite of dreamy, gaseous guitar tones and subtle four-on-the-floor techno beats—The Sight Below uses the Murmur EP as an opportunity for expansion, turning up the contrast on his silky tones to expose an even more deeply textured sound with a powerful emotional effect.
On the Murmur EP, the textures are denser, courser—closer to Kevin Shields’ jagged oceans of guitar than Glider’s wisps of reverb—and the beats are meatier, funkier even. The Sight Below comes close to recording a “real” dance track with “Murmur,” slipping a skipping syncopation and an honest-to-god bass line into a roiling cloud of distortion. “Wishing Me Asleep” incorporates bits of strings into the mix for a touch of cinematic melancholy. Eluvium’s remix of “No Place for Us” turns the track’s simple rhythm into a pointillist’s dream of microscopic, percussive samples, while working the ambient swirl up to a near-operatic pitch. Finally, Glider opening track “At First Touch” gets a re-edit from Simon Scott of legendary UK shoegazers Slowdive. The Sight Below and Scott have collaborated since 2009, and their chemistry shows—Scott excises the song’s pulse, leaving a gorgeously desolate wash of guitar noise and distant voices.
The limited LP version of the Murmur EP includes a remix of Glider’s “The Sunset Passage” by iconic Norwegian producer Biosphere, a veteran of labels such as Touch and Apollo.
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.