TwentyTwentyOne + Diissc Orchestra – Split LP (Lithuanian Music Information Center/ Bôłt Records)


Split LP is the result of an effort made by the Music Information Centre of Lithuania together with Bôłt Records, and it’s one of those releases that must be preserved. A lovely physical edition that comes with a text in detail by Dariusz Brzostek that explains the record and unfolds a story that names diverse aspects, artists and works such as hauntology, vinyl enthusiasm, vinyl as an object, nostalgia, Alice In Wonderland, Proust, Borges, John Cage, William Basinski, Adam Harper, Boards Of Canada, etc.

On one side of the record, we have the laptop quartet Twentytwentyone. The ensemble was founded in Vilnius in 2005: Arturas Bumšteinas, Lina Lapelytė, Antanas Dombrovskij and Vilius Šiaulys. Initially, their performances were sonic interpretations of graphic scores and moving images. The quartet use laptops as primary instruments for creating and performing music, but they also employ a wide range of other electronic and acoustic instruments (such as violin, flute, electric guitar, samplers, synthesisers, amplified objects, midi keyboards, etc). For this record, the artists have used selected pages from Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise (1967) as a visual inspiration for their sound material, which was composed by each artist individually, to be later put together in the studio. The text of Treatise is so ambiguous that, in fact, it is open to any reading, and situates every attempt at interpretation on the verge of cognitive anarchy.

On the other side, four original compositions are presented by the members of Diissc Orchestra: Martynas Bialobžeskis, Antanas Jasenka, Vytautas V. Jurgutis and Jonas Jurkūnas. The ensemble was founded in 2008; their starting point was compositions involving a variety of disc players, stopwatches, special graphic scores, and low-tech devices. This release will symbolically mark the tenth anniversary of their electronic music.

Drone approaches, high-pitched tones circulating as different sound forms play around. Eerie elements, sketches of strings and synths that pop up and sometimes stay present, sudden changes. Different textures, birds, haunted organs, shifts in mood, water sounds present on almost all of the Side 1, elements like heavy breathing from animals being processed digitally, and more varied sound formations conjugate on the first half of the recording. Vaporwave anyone? But perhaps more than that. It leaves a wide open gate to all sorts of receptions. More than one listening experience might also be required by the subconscious.

Side 2 sounds a bit more granular, fast-paced and noisy. Processed organs and field recordings, increasing layers, and a more rythmical approach on the futuristic ending title. It’s hard to define what to choose and why, but we stay with the 4th track on Side 1, entitled ’53, 78, 110, 100, 38′, mostly because of its sustained and soothing drone-pads and its glorious and sudden ending. But everything can be quite subjective, as this oeuvre might shift entirely from listener to listener, and even from time to time in the same head. Thumbs up for another surprise that we got from the Music Information Centre in Lithuania.


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