There's a beating heart buried in the cold landscape of Glider. A warm and steady pulse invigorates each drone resonating overhead, pulling the listener swiftly through the snowy textures below. By underpinning his melodic guitar wisps with murmuring electronic rhythms, New York musician Rafael Anton Irisarri brought understated dance music into the realm of ambient on his 2008 debut album as The Sight Below. And 10 years later, Glider has been remastered and reissued along with a cassette of eight incredible reworks from Irisarri's peers.
There's a separation of elements in these songs that's almost meteorological in nature. The tendrils of treated guitar in "At First Touch" trail loose patterns in the sky like Aurora Borealis, while they flicker like heat lightning in "Dour" and billow like time-lapse cloud formations in "Life's Fading Light." Running along below, nearly obscured by the airborne sounds, is an ever-present beat. Sometimes it's like the mud-puddle throb in "Without Motion," or the tiny, insistent hi-hats in "A Fractured Smile." Each track evolves at a deliberate pace, but as the tones overlap and the rhythms build, time slows until the moment feels all but frozen in suspended animation.
With Glider, The Sight Below created a work of dizzying depth and exquisite melancholy: ambient-techno for dark, brooding nights. This tenth anniversary edition of the album presents Irisarri's impressive work with new definition and detail, while the Glider 10: Reworks cassette celebrates the music's lasting influence with versions produced by Biosphere, Markus Guentner, Yagya, Acronym, Benoît Pioulard, and others