Posted by: Dominic Umile | 02/10/2009

Close Listen: The Sight Below and More

‘Listening’ is a sort of ongoing series of posts I’ll add that concern three records to which I’m paying a lot of attention at the moment, be it new or old releases.

I wrote last year about the debut album from producer/musician The Sight Below. His Glider LP is devastatingly still — an instrumental early morning record that’s simple in nature, recorded live with heavily processed guitar tones a la Christopher Willits that most of the time blanket the pulsing beats beneath them. I could listen to it for hours and I have, frequently. I’m still leaning toward his No Place For Us EP as far as my fave recording between the two. Download the whole EP here for free.

The With You EP on Traum from Chilean producer Ricardo Tobar has been on regular rotation over here. Tobar has recorded for Border Community before, and these four tracks mirror some of the watery shoegaze-type of stuff that Nathan Fake’s Drowning In a Sea of Love LP is made of. Its “Escalera A Central” is nothing like that, however; it’s muddy tech house, loaded with knocking percussion and haunting bits of washed-out synths that just linger in the background. The central melody on the title track is totally pop-sounding, but its textures are grainy and just searing enough, as if he’s fed everything through an Ibanez Tube Screamer distortion pedal. Yes!

Just picked up Let It Bleed on vinyl. It’s the last Rolling Stones album to feature any (quite minimal) contributions from founding member Brian Jones, who would be found dead in his swimming pool just months before the album was finally released. Its raw, country-tinged blues partners wonderfully with their 1968 album, Beggars Banquet. It’s unfortunate that both represent such a full-fledged return to the American blues-heavy sound on which the Stones were initially built; it makes for a classic couple of records, but this is the sound that Brian Jones so dearly loved and he was barely around for it. My ginger-haired friend Jim will quibble, but I find that the era of the Stones I like most took place during the band’s early days. Can’t really beat the unhinged clamor of Out of Our Heads, man.

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Responses

  1. Jim’s a quibbler. Glad you’re mixing watery-shoegaze with unhinged clamor. You need both.

  2. Indeed. It’s a balanced diet. So my descriptions are vague here. That’ll happen.


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