The reclusive Seattle-based artist known as The Sight Below stays away from the spotlight—instead, he expresses himself through melancholic, slow-moving musical forms.
The music of TSB conjures half-remembered dreams and soft-focus sentiments with elegiac beauty; his video art works similarly, blurring snippets of film until they’re recognizable only as organic objects: black-and-white amoebas milling about, or a sunset rendered in grayscale.
All of the songs on Glider, The Sight Below’s debut album on the Ghostly International label, were performed live: The artist runs E-bowed, slide, and lightly picked guitars through a series of loopers, 12-bit reverb boxes, and delay units, kneading and distending the notes until they drone like bees in a tunnel or keen like an orchestra of singing saws. The resulting swirl is pinned to propulsive, achingly subtle percussion, which guides the listener through the gloom towards the music’s hopeful center. The resulting ambient works seem as effortless as natural phenomena; in fact, they’re carefully played, head-nodding hymns to the artist’s solitary life.