- ARTIST: Ben Shemie
- TITLE: Desiderata
- CAT#: BKWRD031
- FORMAT: Vinyl, CD, Digital
- RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2022
Along the outer limits of the universe, where no path forward can be found, what else remains but the self? Desiderata, the fourth solo offering from Ben Shemie (of SUUNS), grapples with this question. Over the course of ten tracks, Shemie chronicles a wandering soul tangled in its own dark orbit, searching for meaning in a world of stardust and astral mirages.
Channeling his classical background and tutelage under acclaimed composer Ana Sokolovic, Shemie combines string fractals, manipulated vocals, and synth-powered chaos to bridge the universes of past, present, and future. To launch his vision of Desiderata into the corporeal world, Shemie constructed a score that was both informed by his experimental pop groundwork and destined to be played by a string quartet.
Breathing life into Shemie’s orchestral maneuvers was the Molinari String Quartet, one of Canada's most celebrated contemporary ensembles. Recording the album’s ten tracks in two single-takes, the urgency and dynamism of these compositions can be heard as much felt. The listener can sense the stuttering pulse of Shemie, flanked by five amplifiers and wading in electronic bedlam, as the Molinari Quartet switchbacks measures of strings and chimes.
Sometimes, the only way to make sense of the world is to travel to its absolute end. While Shemie’s image of a faraway universe is equal parts inspiring and chaotic, he assures the listener — everything and everyone is exactly as it should.
“Marries a strange, eerie synthesis of tape sounds and organic string instrumentation” – Beats Per Minute
“Des sonorités industrielles ainsi que trip-hop” – Le Canal Auditif
“Stunning and futuristic” – Broadway World
“A ghostly, metallic sound that freezes our senses” – Impatto Sonaro
“Beau et déstabilisant” – Le Devoir
“Passionnant dans ses passages les plus transcriptibles, parfois malaisant dans ses arcanes, Desiderata saute de puits de lumière en trous noirs, plus ou moins magnétiques selon qui s’en approche.” – Mowno
“A sporadic, intense and expansive exploration of sound through layers strings, electronics, vocoders and clicking beats” – Backseat Mafia
“Dense and claustrophobic but frequently gorgeous in its orchestral flourishes” – The Wee Review
“While Shemie’s image of a faraway universe is equal parts inspiring and chaotic, he assures the listener — everything and everyone is exactly as it should.” – Circuit Sweet