When it rain it pours : Rafael Anton Irisarri

Rafael Anton Irisarri

I’ve never been to Seattle. I know it’s a rainy and cold place, because I read many articles about the grunge scene. For someone who’s located in Tel Aviv, and basically hate flights that lasts more than 4 hours, Seattle looks like one of the places I won’t be visiting in the near future, unless if I’ll have to.

The rain and cold of the city, got into the core of Seattle based Rafael Anton Irisarri. And to complete the whole rain metaphor of this post, I would say that the attack of released by Irisarri in the last couple of weeks, is just like a British drizzle – quite, delicate, and penetrate deep.

Irisarri, also known under his moniker The Sight Below, released his 2008 Glider which was more of an ambient-techno attempt. He also released an album is 2007 – Daydreaming, but we’ll get to it.
He took some time off from this stage name and started to operate under his real name, while releasing a limited 7” with the Chicago based label Immune Recordings.
The release, Hopes and Past Desires was a beautiful release, consists of two songs, and was the perfect introduction for me, to the man’s minimalistic composition and arrangements.
Hopes and Past Desires
Hopes And Past Desires

Couple of months ago, his first album Daydreaming was reissued on a limited edition color vinyl. This album, this time a full length, is a dark melancholy music, a gentle piano interpretation of the mood, and though Rafael is a multi-instrumentalist, the piano and some occasional noises takes the best out of this somewhat horrifying America as it reflects there.
It’s easy for me to imagine the solitude of living in a distant place like Seattle (I should know, I live in Tel Aviv), and you can find some similarities in the despair that is the essence of the lyrics in early Subpop bands, and make the direct connection to the weather. God knows how much I hated the weather in London when I was living there.
A Glimpse

Well, Daydreaming is all about that. The weather, solitude, depression, despair, and sheer melancholy, all wrapped in beautiful and delicate sound, easy and far from being aggressive, frustrated or sad music.
Ever since I got the album, two weeks ago, I can’t stop listening to it.

And then, a week ago, I got an email from Immune Recordings, saying there’s a new 10” out. What do you know?
The new release, titled Reverie consists of three songs.
Side one with it’s two Eno-influenced tracks Lit A Dawn and Embraced are a bit different then what we heard so far. At first, it looked like Irisarri dropped the ol’ Popul Vuh/Goldmond direction and moved to a more Music For Airports phase, but then you flip side and discover the huge depth of Fur Alina, with it’s 13 songs of high piano notes and (yes) Eno pads underneath, and that makes a perfect closure to the album.
Lit A Dawn

And today, I got my weekly Boomkat newsletter, saying there’s a new A Sight Below release.
This of course made me very happy, because obviously I can’t have too much of Irisarri and each and every release has it’s own style, even if the delicate minimalistic composition can sound a bit similar to the untrained ear.
I hadn’t had the chance to hear the new Sight Below album, It All Falls Apart (released by Ghostly International), but I can that by the description of it, there’s much to anticipate. In this album, Irissari collaborates with Simon Scott (formal drummer of legendary band Slowdive), which is enough to convince me to buy myself a copy (why didn’t you make a vinyl, why?), but since it’s better to let your ears judge, the good people in the label allowed us to download a track from this album.
It All Falls Apart

Rafael Anton Irisarri, slowly makes his gentle moves on taking over the world of modern classical and ambient music, and together with musician like Fennesz, Tim Hacker and Goldmund, embraces the new decade of home listening while defining the new sounds and visions of this genre.

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