Shima33 – Release

Recommendation: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Don’t be fooled: under its stark exterior, Release is a love story. Shima33’s second album for Dream Catalogue opens and closes with short spoken word pieces that describe the wonders and the pains of falling for someone – and how love can color experiences as personal and intimate as music. The tracks don’t tell full stories; they’re little vignettes that implore the listener to piece together the threads of plots by him or herself, creating their own interpretation of the events therein. There are no cinematic post-rock tendencies: each track consists of simple electronic progressions with a downtempo/ambient texture that occasionally invites some semblance of beat.

There are several standout tracks. “Exiled” has electronic arpeggios and twinkles that sound akin to the love theme from Vangelis’ score to Blade Runner. “Staticless” oscillates in the background, suddenly becoming quiet and subdued toward the middle half before a percussive crash jolts the listener from his or her reverie. “Enigma Machine” is seven minutes of Shima33’s deft hand at long-form composition, with incredible resolving progressions. “The View Is Beautiful From Down Here” is one of the most ambient songs on Release, with several washes of static that recall waves crashing along the beach. There are a few moments where the piano keys clip, but they fit Shima33’s aesthetic and are quite welcome additions, as if they come from fading memories rather than the clear present.

There are moments of noise and decay on Release, but Shima33 makes them sound calm and serene – as if the album is a plaintive yet cathartic reminiscence on bygone times. Listen to it as you would Brian Eno and Harold Budd’s The Pearl or M. Ostermeier’s The Rules of Another Small World: as an emotional, mental release.



1. Begging, Pounding – (2:42)
2. UVB-76 – (1:58)
3. Simply Fall Apart – (2:38)
4. Shatterings – (3:01)
5. Null – (3:01)
6. To Say the Thing that Cannot Be Said – (2:44)
7. Staticless – (3:33)
8. The View Is Beautiful from Down Here – (3:24)
9. Man with Static Eyes – (3:46)
10. Emptying a Void – (2:58)
11. Without Her – (5:34)
12. Inside a Heart – (2:12)
13. Enigma Machine – (7:00)
14. Exiled – (3:19)
15. Epilogue – (2:10)


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