Al Cisneros, better known as the bassist and vocalist in Sleep and Om, has released a single reflecting his current obsession with dub. As it is self-released on his own new label, Sinai Records, this hopefully marks the beginning of another outlet for Cisneros on top of his already impressive CV. Even if it is only a one-off, “Dismas” is an unexpected and fascinating aside from Cisneros that complements his main work remarkably well.
While this is no exercise in genre hopping, "Dismas" certainly wears its influence on its sleeves mixing religious themes (the title of the song refers to the penitent thief crucified beside Christ at Golgotha) with a mix of Cisneros’s Raga, reggae and Middle Eastern bass playing style. With only a little rearrangement, this song would fit perfectly with Om’s current direction though in place of his own vocals he uses samples of a religious sermon or preacher.
Yet, the final result is something that sounds a little like the work his band mate Emil Amos, particularly his sample-heavy project Lilacs & Champagne. "Dismas" flows and does not outstay its welcome as if it was stretched out to a normal Om length, it would grow quite tiresome. Indeed, I would have preferred a different B-side as the second version of "Dismas" does not stray too far from the first version despite being slower and more sluggish.