Written by @joehairie (Photos supplied by Grim Anise/Dimitris Grimanis)
“I live in a city that rains a lot. ..and many nights I would oversee the city from my apartment. At those moments, I would try to feel how would the music of that city sound like. How it would resonate inside me. This is the sound of that city for me.”-Grim Anise/Dimitris Grimanis
Dimitris Grimanis is an independent artist active under the name, Grim Anise. He is very meticulous in observing his surrounding especially in the city where he is in and for that he produced ‘Rain City‘, his new album which is way different than his first one ‘Broken Virtues and the Secrets of Star Counting‘. Together with @Lan, we spent some time listening to all 10 songs/music in that particular ‘Rain City’. We somehow thinks that his music is awesome. For the two us, his music is something unique, a bit revolutionary (in a good way) that is different from mainstream music that we have here in Malaysia.
Our 2 Cents
The first thing @Lan said after listening to the entire album was that he felt the music/songs reflect the inner thoughts of Dimitris Grimanis. The lyrics and music are indeed soulful in the sense that both elements blended pretty well that gives first hand insights to what Dimitris is seeing or had seen.
I think the music and songs are sincere in giving listeners the true colors of that particular ‘Rain City’. We think ‘Rain City’ is an album that has its own concoction, a mixture of many elements, put together by the artist, into one masterpiece.
Regardless of the album’s genre, we both think that the lyrics are indeed Poetic. Poetic in the sense that it truly well described the title of the album. It’s poetic as the album contents are into narrative sequence, telling the metaphor, simile, alliteration, hyperbole, personification and onomatopoeia of the subjects in that Rain City.
lone boy in rain city
young women look pretty
a vesper song, the cloudy night
love’s written in blinking neon-lights
and on this street some people say
there’s an old bar with no way in
and the rain is coming down
passed the home of closed curtains
the doorman asks “am I a pretty man?”
and in the dark and dressed in silence
while the tenants take off their masks
it’s when they come undone
they swing from the wire and the rope
we swing from the wire and the rope
As mentioned earlier, we regard the genre as revolutionary in a good way as it’s entirely different from what we have here in Malaysia. Here, it’s all about that Pop, R&B, Rock and if we are lucky we get to hear some Jazz. It’s that mainstream music that are mostly played and being heard here.
To have the opportunity to listen to an alternative music, precisely Down-Tempo, is indeed awesome! Somehow, we personally think that it’s more than Down-Tempo. Listening to each of the composed music/songs gave us that ‘dimension of jazzy and vibrant city’, it touched the soul and mind, as if it were us who were in Grim Anise position, looking at the subjects.
It captured our imagination, and still is. Lyrics easily caught through our ears. The success of music and songs lies on its ability to connect the listeners with the content. Rain City has that connection, that enabled us to see what Grim Anise saw.
This is indeed one great album that we recommend to those who needs to escape from the norm. While the arrangement may shock some fans of mainstream music and that of traditional, orthodox thinkers, we both have no problems in opening up our perspectives, our world-view and our taste for new genres.
As told to us by Grim Anise, “This album is meant for those who enjoy solitary, contemplating moments in rainy nights.”
Curious to listen to some of his music/songs? Head to:
About Rain City
“A couple standing hand-in-hand at the edge of a rooftop. A needle going under Annie’s skin. A vain man that leaves her hand forever. Desperate, lost souls wear the masks of happiness while they seek shelter in their handhelds…
Those are some of the stories of the citizens of Rain City.
A city like any other.
A city like the one you live in..”
According to Grim Anise, the genre of Rain City is more to Alternative/Electronic/Downtempo genre. He added that such genre borrows elements from both the electronic and the rock music fields. When we asked one simple question to him, “What Inspired you to produce this particular album?” He said;
“The city I live in. It rains a lot here. And many nights I would oversee the city from my apartment. At those moments, I would try to feel how would the music of that city sound like. How it would resonate inside me. This is the sound of that city for me.”
In grimanise.bandcamp.com, Grim Anise said;
“I love turning vesper moments of solitude into immersive musical experiences. My craft blends airy pads and gloomy guitars with down-tempo beats and soulful voices.
I am here to tell you some stories. Welcome to my world. I am grim anise”
7 years ago, Grim Anise produced Broken Virtues and the Secrets of Star Counting, an album that’s way much different from the current ‘Rain City‘. Grim Anise said that both albums are different. Broken Virtues and the Secrets of Star Counting is constituted of faster-paced electronic tracks while Rain City is a gloomier and slower combination of rock and electronic elements.
It was one of the debates that Grim Anise was having on whether he should publish Rain City under the same artist name. There had been an almost 7-year gap between the two albums and back then he was still in the search of the music path he wanted to go down on.
Grim Anise decided to move on with it, hoping that listeners would be forgiving of the transition and accept the evolution in the sound. Grim Anise added that being an independent artist without an extensive audience has its pros as well. It makes such decisions easier and less important.
*Rain city was released on March 1, 2017. The music written, performed and produced by Dimitris Grimanis except music in “sonnet for the lack of sleep” written by Dimitris Grimanis and Joachim Hoppe . Lyrics by Dimitris Grimanis . Mixed and Mastered by Dimitris Grimanis
About Grim Anise
Born in Athens, Greece, Grim Anise is currently working and living in Shenzhen, China. He spend his days working as an engineer in the loudspeaker industry. During the nights, however, he’s turning vesper moments of solitude into immersive musical experiences. That’s the moment that he become Grim Anise.
His craft blends airy pads and melodic guitars with down-tempo beats and soulful voices. This is the musical path he prefer to go down lately. He said that he enjoys working as an engineer and it has been far more profitable than any of his musical efforts.
As an independent artist he said that he need to be honest, he wouldn’t have managed to sustain himself by making music.
Grim Anise do feel that that he have much more to give as a musician. He believe that he have stories that some people want to hear. He added that he would like to dedicate himself to making them, at least for some time.
When we asked him about how he project himself as a musician in five years time, he mentioned that, he sees himself ably of accomplishing his objective in making some good music, blend with the stories of the people and the place he is in.
We asked one final question;”Is Rain City (the theme/story inside) produced based on your own personal experiences/thoughts, meaning to say the composed music/songs described you as an individual?”
“Sure, the thoughts are mine, however the stories are all written on the borderline between reality and fiction. The themes are all based on personal experiences. However, as the songs evolved, they were becoming more and more part of an imaginary city, inhabited by desperate citizens. At these moments I was becoming a citizen of that city as well. An observer and a narrator of their sad stories.”
“I am not sure if this describes me as an individual. I have my ups and downs and I have my happy and unhappy moments, but I do not think I maintain any dark personality in general. And it wasn’t always easy for me to get back to the mood of Rain City. Some nights it felt overwhelming and I just couldn’t. I guess it is just a part of me. A channel for thoughts and emotions that I have no other way of expressing.”