REVIEW: Shimri - "Lilies of the Field"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Lilies of the FieldGary Dassing surprises everyone with a truly sublime initial release from his new project, Shimri. Outwardly different yet inwardly similar to his previous work of which Mentallo and the Fixer is the most well known. Lilies of the Field is a very cerebral album, playing on many levels of sound with interesting results. For a little insight, see our recent exclusive interview with Gary Dassing in our November, 2000 (issue #104) issue.

Those familiar with previous work by Gary Dassing will be very divided about this latest incarnation. Somewhat unlike his previous work and very trance-centric, Lilies of the Field is something of a new angle, while maybe not entirely a new direction, for Dassing's musical compositions. Unlike Mentallo work of days' past, Shimri is pure instrumental, but does retain some EBM style components from previous work and does rely heavily on the rivethead/computer-esque style soundings. The tracks can be quite mood altering, with subtle beat manipulations and melodic changes applied to the compositions as they grow and change.

Lilies of the Field is a difficult review, because it's hard to pinpoint elements of the music and highlight things about it. It is rather complicated and has a lot going on, some tracks even having multiple distinct melodies, rhythms, etc. It opens with the bubblesque Pyroclastic Flows. Gary's knack for naming the tracks is definitely right on. Time of the end really sounds like what it says…but on the same token don't ask me to try and explain what that means.

Besides those already mentioned, other favorites of mine include Retrograde Motion on track 2. I was enthralled when I distinctly heard what I would bet on is the startup horn for Mirabilis' ICQ Internet chat software. Shimri closes the album with Buried Truths, which starts like an EBM dance track but rolls into a trancey, interesting pyramid of sounds.

The butterfly on the CD's jacket cover is very well-placed for Lilies of the Field, as the arrangements will build slowly, sometimes to such colorful aural intensities that they can be quite striking. All the music here is wonderfully complicated. One of the amazing things about it is while the musical make-up is similar electronically, all the tracks are extremely different and you'd be hard pressed to find anything repetitive at all throughout the entire CD.

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