Music Reviews

Artist: Twentytwentyone + DIISSC Orchestra
Title: Split LP
Format: LP
Label: Music Information Centre Lithuania
This is a truly split piece of vinyl in two distinct parts, with the commonality being both sides comprise modern experimental electronic music from Lithuanian musicians, but in terms of review, I might as well refer to each side- each with 4 distinct tracks, each track around 5 to 6 minutes long- as independent works that just happen to have been pressed onto the same piece of vinyl.

The first side is laptop quartet Twentytwentyone’s take on Cornelius Cardew’s visual score from 1967 “Treatise”. Working independently, each of the four members recorded elements inspired by different pages of Cardew’s long and sketchy work, which were then layered together in the studio, with each member having the final say on one particular track.

The result is a selection of short electroacoustic-style pieces with a sparse and slightly sci-fi, Radiophonic Workshop-esque flavour full of distant rumbles, incomprehensible soft percussion noises and long tuneful industrial drones. The natural exception to this is the fourth piece, which is decidedly more noise-heavy and has more distinct sections and sharp-edged edits in it, for which reason it stands out a little. Over twenty minutes I’m not convinced that it constitutes a coherent work in its own right but it’s a rich bit of experimentation for sure.

The second side is four independent compositions that occupy a similar sonic space, but without the obligation to interconnection implied on the first side. Vytautas V. Jurgutis’ “Tinohi” is a series of sawtoothed bubbly noises building to near-white-noise cacophony that then transmogrifies into gritty industriaul noise synthesis, that makes the following track by Jonas Jurkunas, with slow organ chords and drones, seem like ambient light relief by comparison. Martynas Bialobzeskis’s “MY DO” is also a drone, but a much grittier affair with low rumbles and some teethy scratching noises. Final piece “exe.rpm” by Antanas Jasenka seems most out of place because it actually has a rhythm, or at least a steady pulse, built out of short-cut samples in unpredictable patterns, over which the squelchy sci-fi noises dance and play- skirting at times towards the sound of electronica gone weird.

It’s an interesting package from Music Information Centre Lithuania, who I’ve previously heard releasing more conventionally-minded pieces of long modern experimental classical music. This however is deep into squelchy electronic rumbles and drones, and while it doesn’t necessarily have any of the “wow” moments that the results of truly eye-opening music experiments can sometimes have, it’s a polished package that will appeal to lovers of electronic avant garde.

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