Tonight is the latest SAM Remix event at the Seattle Art Museum (8pm, $5-$10, all-ages, highly recommended/should've been a Stranger Suggests). Headlining is Canadian artist Loscil, whom Dave Segal expounds on in this week's Data Breaker as well as here on Line Out.
An equally compelling reason to go is local ambient shoegazer the Sight Below (aka Rafael Anton Irisarri) whom Segal profiled for the Stranger back in 2008:
The Sight Below's set at this year's Decibel Festival was a highlight for many attendees. His mesmerizingly muffled 4/4 kick drums pumped like an excited hippo's heart beneath gaseous synth tones and spectral guitar spray, while his voluminous bass frequencies seemed to threaten the integrity of the Baltic Room's sound system. To those on the Sight Below's rarefied wavelength, the result was a steady-state, subdued ecstasy similar to that induced by Kompakt Records artists like Gas and the Field.
The Sight Below's debut album, Glider (out November 11 on the respected Michigan label Ghostly International), meticulously re-creates that live experience while also exploring his more ambient proclivities. The Sight Below's deft aptitude on guitar (typically stroked ever so lightly with a viola bow or plectrum) and keyboards glimmers brilliantly on the disc's nine cuts, evoking masters of subtle sonic bliss like My Bloody Valentine, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, and Fennesz.
The Sight Below's got a new album called It All Falls Apart out April 5th on Ghostly International featuring tracks co-written with Simon Scott of Slowdive on guitar and an atomized cover of Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades" featuring Tiny Vipers' Jesy Fortino on vocals. It's every bit as glacially chilling and breathtaking as the Sight Below's debut, and tonight might be your first chance to hear some of it.
Also nothing to sneeze at (and also profiled by the sleepless Segal): Gel-Sol.