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Ponty Mython: "The Tropic of Capricorn" & Other Travels
The very British wordplay behind "Ponty Mython" belongs, in fact, to St. Petersburg native Aleksandr Pletnev, who now lives in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. His newest house release, "The Tropic of Capricorn EP," emerges this month on the heels of a tellingly brief interview for Test Press. Diligence takes the place of any wordy self-congratulation. A few pithy examples will prove the point.
Lithuania's "Ritmo Kovos IV": Chaotic Sounds from a Hornets' Nest
A new and wide-ranging compilation of Lithuanian electronic producers has just appeared, entitled "Ritmo Kovos 4" (Beat Battle #1). It bears much social import.
Tales of Independence: Gorbach, Niklavz, Despotin Fam, and Beatcase
From Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia, four new releases appear, all inspired by a hip-hop tradition. They also voice a connection to other musical events of prior decades - together with their social impact.
A Past Reconsidered: Miglokomon, Zulya, Crossworlds, and Avis
From Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania come four responses to the drudgery and dead weight of quotidian experience. The most satisfying among them involve looking backwards.
Four Distinct Albums: Alina Orlova, Kira Lao, Cload, and Mars Needs Lovers
Four new albums from Lithuanian and Russian performers lead to different interpretations of an LP - and why that format even matters any more. The answers, it transpires, depend on location and genre.
Inexpressible Ideals: The Up! Up! Up! and Ritmo Kovos Compilations
Two labels from Vilnius and Yekaterinburg have published compilation CDs in celebration of their work and worldview. Both come implicitly to the conclusion their ideals are - ultimately - ineffable.
Lithuania's Snapsounds Studio: AVaspo, InSearch, and Banda Dzeta
The Snapsounds studio in Lithuania is committed to the production of HD video that captures both the past and future of local bands. The mere existence of that service hints at a wealth of PR challenges for the artists themselves.
From Vilnius via Rio: Club Tropicana, Ophex, Boyfriend, and Genn Bo
"Club Tropicana" is a community of producers and event planners in Vilnius, Lithuania. In order to further the development of a small, underfunded organization, inspiration is taken from the music of Brazil and Jamaica.
Darkening Corridors: Justicious, Napo, Medkit, Robus Amp, and CSUM
Recent material from a couple of Lithuanian and Belarusian labels uses the experience of growing up to consider a parallel social process. The success - or failure - of civic progress colors some private dreams.
Humility and Wisdom: Jelena Glazova, Brolis, HAdSOME, and Speck
These four artists all cast doubt upon the importance of authorial statement, either in sound or with text. It may be that the outside world harbors a greater, quieter meaning - which needs to be heard, not "authored."
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