Skaņu Mežs Recordings is a music label, associated with the Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music and run by its organizers. Its aim is to document the creative output of the local avant-garde musicians in Latvia, ranging from noise bands to digital musicians and contemporary composers. The first two cassettes were released in late 2011, and there are more to come in 2014.
The recordings can be purchased by writing to ieraksti [at] skanumezs.lv
Edgars Rubenis – Mythoscope (SM003), 2014 Cassette
The overall nature of Mythoscope is – to use the words, chosen by the composer himself – empty and slow. The convoluted musical gestures and walls of distorted sound which one would usually associate with Rubenis’ music, are here shed away and replaced with a few harmonically arranged sonic elements, evolving in time. And, although it graciously wanders in abstract territory, Mythoscope has a theme that is important to its author on a personal level – Rubenis has conceptually tried to use this music (and process of its making) as a tool to help identify himself as an entity that has passed through many times and generations as well as to achieve the opposite: to distill that part of himself that its uniquely his own.
The material of Mythoscope was inspired by Rubenis’ experience of opening for Grouper as part of a Skaņu Mežs organized concert at the Anglican church in Riga. This was the first instance where he took on a more ambient approach, and it sparked an interest to develop this musical language further.
The music has been created by using various instruments and tools, associated with the electric guitar – pedals and various bows (including the e-bow) as well as, of course, the guitar itself. The recording process was conducted by using exclusively analog gear. The artwork for the cassette is created by Līva Rutmane.
Edgars Rubenis, best known as the lead guitarist of the group Mona de Bo, has started performing solo since 2010. In his own music, Rubenis focuses on the relationships between individual sounds, rather than on how they’re strung together in harmonic or melodic sequences. His most recent work shifts towards minimalism and drone music.
Price: EUR 5 + Shipment
Martins Rokis – Temp (SM002), 2011 Cassette
A side 18:57 B side 19:34
TEMP is constructed, edited and synthesized between 2009 – 2010, merging together sketches and fragments which were originally salvaged just as a reference point to develop some ideas in the future. However, such fragments merged together in a non-linear system, having forgotten each fragments original intention, function and intended scenario of development – the elements obtained new form, meaning and even an illusory sense of completeness. The 40 minute recording consists of two untitled pieces. These are pretentiously abstract and extremely dynamic examples of digital sound synthesis, which ignore laws of gravitation and allowed volume levels. A cassette for listeners with special needs.
Martins Rokis has been involved in various short term projects and experiments since the late 90’s. He has performed as a DJ, co-produced experimental music radio show “Visons” on radio NABA since 2002 and has created different music under several aliases. His current work is a blend of prepared generative strategies and improvisation working with open source software and code. Combining interests in so called computer music, sound art and philosophy, he is exploring possible synergy between control/decontrol, digital sound synthesis and multi-modality of human perception.
Price: EUR 5 + Shipment
Streets of Sex – Music For Alpha Males (SM666/SM001), 2011 Cassette
A side 5 tracks 14:00 B side 6 tracks 14:00
Streets Of Sex’ mini-album Music For Alpha Males consists of a part of their latest material which has been created the beginning of September 2011. Recorded at Sound Division studio, Riga. In this record Streets of Sex continues their habitual path; respectively, they melt together spasmodic drumming with harsh noise music and electronics in an avant-garde/grindcore manner, occasionally using elements of glitch and free improvisation, which they call drum’n’noise and/or pure satanic free jazz. Music For Alpha Males is a nowadays’ story about an Alpha or socially dominant male, reflecting different edges of it’s life, for example – relationships with women, success of career, inner world, yearnings and dreams. Material is released on white printed cassette, in plastic case, with offset print type inlay booklet with two different artworks – each 25 pcs.
Streets of Sex is: Andrejs Zalitis (1/2H 1/2W, XanalhandjobcrewX, Lehitkarnef) and Rihards Brazinskis (Phonic Psychomimesis and ex-Trauma Moralis), who, influenced by noise, free jazz, grindcore and black metal, are exalting their own radical perception of music, combining scratchy, aggressive and chaotic electronics, convulsive arrhythmic drumming and vocals, distorted beyond recognition with – time by time – naked sounds of guitar, trumpet and other wind instruments.
Price: EUR 5 + Shipment