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  • Filed under: Review
  • 06/15/2010

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The Sight Below It All Falls Apart

Despite lulls in popularity, dub-techno has never really left us; after all, Fluxion, Echospace, Andy Stott, and Bvdub continue to release records full of the atmospheric, crackling beatscapes pioneered by Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. But while Fluxion and Wolfgang Voigt are still drowning listeners in oceans of loop-based ambience, finding a producer who can combine the emotional resonance of Stars of the Lid with the techno prowess of a Kompakt record is a more difficult task, and one which illuminates what can be considered a gap in current electronic music. Fortunately, the low-profile Rafael Anton Irisarri (a.k.a. The Sight Below) fills this gap in a dazzlingly melancholy manner on his second full-length. With the help of percussionist Simon Scott, formerly of shoegaze stars Slowdive, Irisarri has crafted seven tracks that cover an astounding range of visceral sonic possibilities, from the bright guitar lines and comforting drones of "Fervent" to the steely techno chill of "Burn Me Out From the Inside." Perhaps the track most exemplary of The Sight Below's range, though, is the cover of Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades"—slow-motion percussion falls low in the mix behind faraway storms of guitar, watery cracklings, droning synth harmonies, and the thin, plaintive vocalizations of Jesy Fortino (a.k.a. Tiny Vipers). The effect is of a hurricane passing over an ocean, gathering heat and force while simultaneously cooling the waters below.

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