SHIMA: A World Without Music
By Alistar Wickens
Auckland’s Shima is part of the current wave of the electronic drone sound that seems to be everywhere at the moment, although he’s been releasing music as Shima well before the current scene exploded. ‘A World Without Music’ is his fourth album since 1999 and plays almost like a movie soundtrack, which isn’t so surprising, as his music has previously been used in films and documentaries. The album starts out with a deep atonal drone that seems to build in intensity until it almost feels like your head might explode, before settling back into a more atmospheric and mellow sound. At times there are glimpses of Trent Reznor’s soundtrack work, and also moments where the album descends into similar territory to Howard Shore’s Naked Lunch soundtrack. While largely created on analogue and digital synthesisers, there is some live instrumentation, with guitars, clarinet and djembe all used to good effect. It’s not an easy album to listen to in its entirety, and certainly not music you’d sit down to relax to, but there are some great tracks here. The Last Half-Circle stands out and shows Shima’s talent for crafting interesting music.