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Adventurous Music from the Baltics

Sound Meccano aka Rostislav Rekuta is a Latvian based sound artist working in the sphere of electronic, elecroacoustic, field recordings and ambient music. Back in 2014 he released together with fellow Lativan sound artist Evgeniy Droomoff the excellent Walking Through album – (see above clip).

The below is a live set by Sound Meccano and Jura Laiva (guitar drones, ambience, improvisation and rhythmical structures) performed on the 24th of March 2015 as part of “To Be Continued” an original concert lasting 24 hours to raise awareness in the fight against Tuberculosis

J.G. Biberkopf – Ecologies

Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf is a Berlin based Lithuanian producer. His work spans club, theatre and digital radio contexts. The tracks here float between cyberambience and slamming rhythmic constructions; distant trails of web-filtered grime, and beatless studies of net phenomenology. His collage compositions are intended as a field trip into the representations of nature that emerge from the digital-social media scape. He says of the project’s inception, that he was intrigued by an oddly “naive idea of nature that seemed strikingly prevalent in my social environment.. I was curious to know how these simulations of Nature work in digital media, how do we do experience these simulated materials”. J.G. Biberkopf appears as part of an newly emergent wave of intensely thoughtful, rhythmically physical, net-aware young artists, such as v1984 and Sentinl.

Arturas Bumšteinas – Gamelan Descending a Staircase

The instrumental sound material for Gamelan Descending a Staircase was recorded at the Ethnologisches Museum Dahlem in the summer of 2013, during a research visit there. A large collection of Indonesian Gamelan orchestra instruments was recorded, and later it was composed into a surround-sound composition, premiered in Jauna Muzika festival at the Vilnius Contemporary Art Center, in April 2015. The live version of this piece also involved three improvising trumpetists providing live solo/accompaniment textures for the pre-recorded music.

Zale – Vina

Zale started off as a duo from Riga only to develop into a full band performing post-folk. Members include: Marta Kreituse, Pteris Draguns, Kasandra Kaepe, Kira Kirsanova, Dace Zaria, Aivis Gailtis, Tarass Kuzmenko, Ernests Medenis, Uis Vtiš.

Gas of Latvia – Swan Lake

Music producer and composer Andris Indans has been an active musician since the late 80s; his project Gas of Latvia is one of the most significant electronic music projects from Latvia. Gas of Latvia have recorded and released over 10 studio albums, each of them having a different vibe and sound – switching from drone, noise, IDM to industrial music and techno, but still keeping their signature sound.

Münpauzn – The Dark Side of the Mün

TDSOTM is the edge hitherto unexposed to no one, latest spaces wandered – with all the missteps and marvel encountered in passage. The album was composed under the influence of moon light (not to confuse with moonshine). Not accidentally the album found its way into public during full moon.

Darius Ciuta – ti-rj

Ti.rj is Darius Ciuta’s second release from 2015 on Plus Timbre after the collaborative “c/d” with Chris Silver T. In 2015 Ciuta also released PL24 a 24 hour stereo audio work released on custom single board computer intended for continuous play over loudspeakers.

Gintas K – Message in a Bottle

Gintas K is the stage name of Gintas Kraptaviius (b. 1969), a Lithuanian sound artist and creator of experimental electronic music, who has also worked in performance art, installations and interdisciplinary arts. His early experiments were based on action art and a post-Fluxus aesthetic. During the 1990s, he was the leader of Modus, one of the first electronic industrial music projects in Lithuania. Recently, Gintas K has been immersed in the exploration of sound structures, in addition to taking part in different cultural events and releasing records both in Lithuania and abroad. The pieces on the CD Message in a Bottle create a panorama of Gintas K’s oeuvre, spanning the entire decade, dotted with all the genre-related features described here. Nevertheless, the last part of the picture is the listener’s private experience, which expands as s/he unrolls the sound message from the bottle. (Povilas Vaitkeviius)

300 Degrees – Point of Change

300 Degrees came into life in 2009, when Audrius aka IJO got interested in music made with analogue drum machines and synthesizers. He bought some classical pieces of gear such as Roland TR-707, TR606, MC202 and few more kits. The whole creative process and philosophy behind it has changed so he had to come up with a new name to resemble a new sound and avoid the confusion with IJO, thus 300 Degrees moniker was born.

Sonopictorial – Macrosketching

Macrosketching is a debut album by Latvian, now Berlin-based, electronic music producer Sonopictorial. After several years of releasing minimal/tech-house/nudisco under different monikers on labels like De’fchild, Globox as well as on his own platform for music experiments Spanda Records, Max finally came to his true love – dance floor oriented psychedelic music. This album is an attempt to blend previously collected skills from producing non-psychedelic genres into a more psygressive direction, while also trying to keep things melodic and hopefully even accessible by people unfamiliar with psychedelic trance music.

Benzokai – Identities Too Abstract

Identity as a fluid interstate, forever becoming, never being. Benzokai’s benzoid beats and haunting vocal delivery – at times adopting an animalistic, beastly form – are a dystopian paean. There are gentle melodies appearing and disappearing, always veiled in some anxious, disconcerting crackling, echoing sheen. Is this love? Black metal? You are metaphysically wrong. “Trends as well as online culture have an effect on me, in some way it drives the energy and attention away from the deeper concerns and wishes.”A projection of a mental desktop. Samara beach. “Emptiness is my fashion”. Void and devoid. Profound in its inversion.

Ratkiller – Confortably Declined

Based in Estonia’s capital Tallinn, Mihkel Kleis has an affinity for black metal, not for the obvious tropes, but because of its specific lingering, ominous atmosphere, though you’d be hard-pressed to search for its marks on this tape, darkness has become co-opted, anyway. Another of his sonic influences, however, is jazz and free improvisation, the jouissance of playing, experimenting with the essence of music-making and the pleasure of the process rather than the end product necessarily. “It’s all only about unexplained rhythms and harmonies that just seem to exist everywhere. I don’t really have any need to add extra meaning to it, it’s like conceptualizing heartbeats or the rhythm of walking. The interpretations are infinite. Things are fun only as long as they are unexplained.”

Dirty Deal Audio – DDA\VA IV

Released on Jan 15th 2016 This is the annual Dirty Deal Audio compilation showcasing tracks made in the past year by DDA collective members and other Latvian musicians we feel.

Justinas Mikulskis is the man behind Secret Thirteen, the interdisciplinary internet journal, presenting exclusive mixes and interviews by influential and original artists, musicians, label owners, record collectors as well as overviews of contemporary art works and various imprints. The journal specializes in Experimental, Drone, Ambient, Abstract, Techno, Contemporary music genres, but lately Secret Thirteen also have many guests from Goth Rock, Post-Punk, Minimal Wave, Industrial, IDM, World, Jazz scenes.

The birth of the journal was determined by its founders constant intellectual development, increasing amount of knowledge, the aim to be a significant participant in Lithuanian and foreign cultural worlds, personal ambitions and the lack of concentration of specific and relevant information. The disappointingly small amount of systemized and unique information in the internet was also a major factor for the foundation and developing of the journal.

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