Latvian Music News

March

29

Mar

Carnival Youth release a remix of “Boys Do Cry” by Kasetes

Latvian indie rock band Carnival Youth have released another remix from their upcoming “Good Luck” remix EP – this time it’s Kasetes remake of “Boys Do Cry”. This follows the “Only the Moon Can See the Sun” remix by Bel Tempo released in February.

Kasetes, who’s latest album “Dialogue” was named Best Electronic Music Album at the 2021 Latvian Music Awards “Zelta Mikrofons”, have given “Boys Do Cry” a fresh 80s synthpop vibe. The remix comes with a reconstructed original music video, that emphasises the new ambience of the track.

Since Kasetes have already done a dazzling remix of Carnival Youth’s “Underneath the Water” a few years ago, they were one of the first ones Carnival Youth thought of when deciding which creators to give “Good Luck” songs to remix. “Cool people and a cool band with a distinct style and their own signature sound within the local music scene,” describes Emils Kaupers from Carnival Youth. “I sent Rudolfs the song tracks almost a year ago and he replied very quickly with an almost finished version of the remix. It’s essentially a Kasetes song with a “Boys Do Cry” vocal tracks since it feels like almost all instruments are added from scratch. And that’s the beauty of this project – each artist can do whatever they want with the song. We love to be surprised!”

Rudolfs Zagorskis of Kasetes explains that it was difficult to choose which song to remix: “After experimenting with three songs, that I thought would work well as remixes, “Boys Do Cry” vocal track brought the most interesting vibe. I began with putting together interesting synth chords that further created the mood of the track and from there it was pretty easy to amplify it with different elements. Since 80s music is close to my heart, I chose to make the whole song with the mood of that time – electric drums and analogue synthesizers. When the remix was almost done, bass player Jurgis Prieditis joined and played bass in the “slap” technique, which added a good atmosphere to the remix.”

Listen to the “Boys Do Cry” remix and watch the video here.

The Latvian indie band Carnival Youth is one of the most successful new generation bands from the Baltic region. Carnival Youth fuse neat melodic lines with the energy of alternative rock and indie music, while their emotion range varies from youthful melancholia to pure, bright joy. Since the formation of the band, Carnival Youth have released five records, from which the latest one – “Good Luck” came out in August 2019.

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26

Mar

Latvian producers MICKEEN and DESTRO release a collaborative single “We Lost Us”

Electronic music producers MICKEEN (Miks Pinzulis), and DESTRO (Voldemārs Pauls Dzenis), in collaboration with Jasmine Green Tea (Jasmīne Zavele)  on march 26, release the single "We Lost Us".

Jasmine Green Tea about the song: It's hard to put the idea of the song to words, and just as hard to understand what the people around are dealing with emotionally. The words “We Lost Us” resemble a lot of things. Everyone has their own demons to deal with. They can be stored deep within, they can appear in the form of another person. We can't grasp how simple it is to bestrange ourselves, while fighting mazes placed by others. That's what the lyrics are all about - not losing yourself trying not to lose someone else.

MICKEEN about the song: I've been working together with DESTRO for over a year now, but just now are we actually showing the results to the listeners. As the first original collaboration we decided to release “We Lost Us”, because that's one of the first songs we worked together on. There were many versions. At the end we decided to go with this one.

Song authors - MICKEEN and DESTRO. Lyrics by Jasmine Green Tea.

 

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24

Mar

There will be free live concerts by Andrejs Osokins and conversations with the audience

Two special live concerts by Latvian pianist Andrejs Osokins are coming soon. Listeners will be able to follow them not only in Latvia, but also elsewhere in the world.

Already this Saturday, March 27, at 19.00 (Riga time) Andrejs Osokins live piano concert “Parallels” will take place online. The concert is organised by the American Latvian Association (ALA) and is included in the ALA 70th anniversary event series. The pianist’s solo program will feature the surprising parallels between American and Latvian piano music in the 20th century.

After the concert, all spectators are invited to take part in a conversation with Andrejs Osokins, Director of ALA Office of Cultural Affairs Valda Grinberga and ALA Executive Director Marisa Gudrais, as well as Latvian composer Juris Karlsons. The discussion will be led by musicologist Liene Jakovļeva.

"In March last year, during the pandemic, our online concerts gained great popularity, gathering several thousand spectators in the United States and Canada. Spring awakens hope and love in our hearts, so I invite my compatriots in North America and across the ocean to put on a festive dress and enjoy this beautiful event,” says Valda Grinberga.

The live broadcast will be available on the Facebook pages of the American Latvian Association and Andrejs Osokins, as well as on the online platform “Zoom”, link here.

On April 19, at 18.00 Andrejs Osokins' concert "Latvian piano music over the centuries" will be broadcast live from the Latvian Radio Studio 1. The concert and conversation with the pianist will be led by director of Latvian Radio 3 “Klasika” and musicologist Gunda Vaivode.

The concert will feature works by three outstanding Latvian composers – Pēteris Vasks’ “A Little Night Music”, Imants Zemzars’ "Warsaw Triptych" and a very special event – the premiere of Aivars Kalejs’ piano pieces "Songs Without Words". Andrejs Osokins will perform these compositions as a gift to the music lovers of these composers - all of whom have significant anniversaries in April. The concert will also feature piano works by Jāzeps Vītols, Ādolfs Skulte, Jānis Mediņš, Juris Karlsons, Emīls and Wolfgangs Dārziņš.

The concert will be broadcast live on LR3 “Klasika” and shown on the website. The recording of the concert will also be available in the LR3 “Klasika” archive and on the Latvian Radio YouTube channel. The concert is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation.

“It is a great pleasure for me that Latvian Radio “Klasika” and the American Latvian Association in these difficult times give musicians the opportunity to play and listeners to hear excellent Latvian music. The programs of both concerts will be especially emotional, as I will play not only my favourite compositions but also brand-new piano works from my repertoire. I am very much looking forward to these concerts because such meetings are important for both – me and the audience. They give hope that the live concerts may return one day”, says Andrejs Osokins.

Both concerts will also feature Jāzeps Vītols' Lullaby, performed by Andrejs Osokins.

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23

Mar

Latvian rockers Kayro have released their debut EP "Strangest Times"

The EP was recorded in the second half of 2020, during the global pandemic as a reflection on the hardships of isolation and self re-discovery.
Kayro was founded in 2018 by guitarists Karlis and Ritvars. In 2019 they were joined by the lead singer Reinis and bassist Agnis, solidifying the band's sonic footprint. The band's influences range from pop to modern metal, melting together in an energetic and emotional performance.
Strangest Times was recorded and produced by Kayro themselves with Karlis as the main audio engineer. Right now Kayro are actively working on new songs for the next album and will probably release some singles at the end of the summer.
Band photography - Janeta Jumtiņa
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23

Mar

“Rihards Lībietis Orchestra” after performing a livestream concert will begin a crowdfunding campaign

On the 24. March 20:00 after performing a livestream concert “Rihards Lībietis Orchestra” will begin a crowdfunding campaign for the upcoming album “Willful Blindness” that is set to release at the end of May. The campaign is being hosted by the crowdfunding site “Projektu banka”.

“This album has been in production for the majority of last year and was recorded in autumn of 2020. We have poured a lot of time, care and love into it. Coincidentally, the making of this album coincided with the epidemic and all of its consequences. Somehow this album has been constantly plagued by hardships and financial troubles. Musically, this album definitely has the most layers out of all the other albums which we have released so far. Contrasting themes and powerful soundscapes, this album is meant to touch on complicated themes. We believe that it is very important to finally finish this album so we can present it to our listeners and so we can move on.” Revealed the leader of the band and the author of the music Rihards Lībietis. “We decided to make the crowdfunding campaign on “Projektu banka” because it is a wonderful way to support good and creative ideas which need finances to achieve.”

The band's cello player Erna Daugaviete also added: “It’s plain to see that in recent days many artists of different types deeply miss the opportunities to present their art to a wider audience.  Especially musicians and dancers. During the last year we all have experienced a huge spectrum of emotions, that it’s hard not to express it through our art. We long for listeners we could tell at least a fraction of the stories that comes from the language of our souls. Through music one can say many things. Music has the power to heal both the player and the listener. Obviously, a livestream concert doesn’t have the same energy exchange as a live concert but for now this is the only way we can contact our listeners with our music. It’s also a great opportunity for us to have a heart to heart with our listeners.”

The livestream concert will feature songs from the upcoming album “Willful Blindness” some of which will be performed for the first time. The concert will be broadcasted on Rihards Lībiets YouTube channel:

The crowdfunding project will be available to supporters on “Projektu banka” platform for one month - until 22nd of April. More information about the album’s release and ways to support it can be found here: https://projektubanka.lv/projects/albums-willful-blindness. It is informatively supported by “Valmiermuižas” beer brewery and Rocket Bean Cafe.

The name of the album “Willful Blindness” refers to the desire of individuals refusing to acknowledge alarming things happening to oneself and everywhere else on the planet. The themes of the album are about each person’s responsibility to oneself, accepting one's light and dark side, which creates a desire to learn and experience new things, strive to be responsible and believe in oneself.

The album will include 12 instrumental compositions the author of which is Rihards Lībietis and in collaboration with the other band members. Aside from Rihards Lībietis (acoustic and electric guitar), Erna Daugaviete (cello), Gints Smukais (acoustic guitar), Matīss Repsis (percussion) and Jānis Polis (bass) the album also features Mārtiņš Miļevskis (percussion), Laura Rozenberga (trombone), Valters Šmits (saxophone) and Reinis Klatenbergs (french horn). Album was recorded at “AMFO Music” studio in Rīga. Sound production was managed by Toms Lisments.

The two prior released singles from the album  “Night Follow Me” and “Driftwood Island” are available on all streaming platforms including Spotify.

“Rihards Lībietis Orchestra” is a quintet performing dynamic instrumental world music. The band fuses together African, Middle-Eastern and Lavian folk music while taking inspiration from blues and jazz music.

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19

Mar

Normunds Rutulis collaborates with Finnish DJ Oliver Paris and sings in English.

Normunds Rutulis is releasing a new song created in collaboration with Finnish DJ and music producer Oliver Paris. Their first collaboration is the electroswing song “LET’S SWING!” Summer and parties already wait for it!
Normunds Rutulis: “A year ago, I was approached by Latvian music producer DJ Plastic with an offer to create a melody for Finnish DJ music demo who was not yet known to me at that time. I decided to try. I called DJ Oliver Paris and agreed to start this international music project immediately. First I sang a demo without words, just the melody and phrase that came to mind at that moment. Eventually, the full form came, and lyrics was later written by Oliver's brother IGOR, who successfully operates in the Finnish hip hop scene. As this project was not a priority, we only got to the end now. However, we are both pleased. Electroswing is a type of dance music, and although its origins can be traced back to the early 1990s, it has not gained much popularity in Latvia. We hope that with “Let’s swing!” will be able to improve its position in our music market. True, this is one of the few times I allowed myself to sing in English. But since this single is also being released in Finland today, it's understandable. "

DJ Oliver Paris: “The audience of Riga clubs has got to know me, because sometimes I perform here with my DJ sets. I have been in club music since 1999, but in 2007 I was invited to become the DJ of concert tour by Swedish club music star Pandora. Soon after, I also started producing music. Although I grew up with rock, rock and roll and pop music, which I "absorbed" on MTV and VH1, I have established myself in club music. And I really like to build mashup mixes. My passion is music and I love different genres of music, so this time I allowed myself to experiment with an electroswing style that is quite stylish, rhythmic and danceable. I am glad that I managed to meet Normunds, because I am looking for a Latvian singer who feels equally good in pop music and swing, as well as dance music. The melody and vocal manner he created inspired a new wind for my track and now, it can be heard in Helsinki, Riga and everywhere else in the world. Let’s swing! ”
Producer and author DJ Oliver Paris
The melody was composed and sung by Normunds Rutulis
The words written by Igor Parri
Song mixmaster by Jānis Kalve (Labo recording studio)
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17

Mar

Andrejs Osokins has released his new album “Two Worlds”

American record label Prima Classic has released Andrejs Osokins' new album “Two Worlds”, dedicated to two outstanding composers – George Gershwin and Claude Debussy. It depicts both composers as creators of a new style piano music and the beginning of the 20th century as a time of pursuit and experimentation in music.

Andrejs Osokins’ new album is a glance at a unique moment in the 20th century's musical scene, on both sides of the Atlantic, through a personal selection of piano pieces by George Gershwin and Claude Debussy.

“I was very thrilled when the founders of “Prima Classic” – our great opera singer Marina Rebeka and the wonderful sound director Edgardo Vertanessian – reached out to me to record a solo album. This idea, despite the limitations of the pandemic, was realized with tremendous inspiration and energy, and I am extremely glad that it is appreciated by listeners all over the world,” reveals Andrejs Osokins.

Even before the album was released several tracks from it had been noticed and appreciated around the world. Three singles that were released – George Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue” and Claude Debussy's “Clair de lune” and “Golliwog's Cakewalk” from the suite “Children's Corner” – were included in prominent classical music playlist on Spotify. This playlist highlights outstanding classical recordings from around the world. Several tracks have also garnered praise from music experts from Apple Music and Amazon Music.

The layout of all 24 tracks on the album was purposefully and conceptually curated. The album demonstrates the search for musical means of expression by both composers while vividly revealing the mood that prevailed in Europe and the US in the early 20th century.

The video for George Gershwin's piece “The Man I Love”, which Andrejs Osokins performs in his transcription for the left hand..

The record is directed and produced by Edgardo Vertanessian who over the years has collaborated with countless world-renowned classical and non-classical musicians and bands, including Marina Rebeka, Luciano Pavarotti, Anders Miolin, Taylor Swift, The Who, Rihanna, Jay Z, Kayne West and many more.

Edgardo Vertanessian says about the creation of the album: “At Prima, we knew Andrejs for a long time and we have been following his career, he is such an amazing pianist! We wanted to show his art to our audience through a studio recording, and we discussed the project with him, and this great album came out as the result. We dedicated a good number of long recording sessions so he could experiment with different interpretations and then he took the time to listen and to decide which were the versions that he liked the most. This is a luxury these days when usually artists go to the studio and record a lot of music in a relatively short time, and this is also something that cannot be achieved on a live recording because an artist can only play a piece once! We are very happy we did it this way.”

The recording was made in Latvian Radio Studio 1. The album is published by “Prima Classic” label whose founders are Marina Rebeka and Edgardo Vertanessian.

The album is available on all major music streaming sites, including Spotify. CDs are available online at www.veikalsupe.lv and Amazon.com.

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12

Mar

Pamirt releases debut album Mausoleum.

Pamirt is a dark music trio from Baltics that brings together musicians Kristiana Karklina (voice, piano), Edvards Percevs (drums) and Edgars Gultnieks (guitar, bass) previously known for their work with black metal act Eschatos. This collaboration started as a solo project of Kristiana, but soon after Edgars and Edvards joined to add guitar textures and rhythm. Most part of this album was composed while residing in Berlin in fall of 2018 where Kristiana goes often to work on music.

“It was a new experience for me to have the control over all artistic decisions while making this record over a period of almost 2 years. My academic background is in art history so visual arts also play a great role in making of this record. About a month before the world entered the state of global health crisis, we created album art for Mausoleum. We wanted to create a sense of grotesque, lonely celebration, inspired partly by Pushkin's work "A Feast in Time of Plague" and personal experiences while working in the field of contemporary art. Needless to say that we could not even imagine how prophetic this work will be,” says Kristiana.

Mausoleum was nominated for The National Latvian music awards “Zelta mikrofons” as The Best Experimental record of 2020.

Mausoleum will be released on vinyl via Tartarus Records on April 30th.

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9

Mar

Latvian hard rock band “Everstate” releases new single and video from its debut EP

Latvian hard rock band “Everstate” introduces to a new single and a video Trying Times from the band’s debut EP “Inside Out” which contains 5 songs.

Trying times and the EP were produced by Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Bullet For My Valentine, etc.), recorded and mixed by sound engineer Clint Murphy (Enter Shikari, etc.) at Sound Division Studios, Riga, Latvia. Masters were done by Ryan Smith at the Sterling Sound Studio in Nashville, USA.

The band’s leader and guitarist Uldis Blazevics says that “Trying Times” is a song about inner experiences that occur when a person searches for his identity and improves himself. It's the “good pain” that a person expects and accepts because he knows that the outcome is expected to be positive and rewarding.”

The band’s EP Inside Out, as well as the single “Trying Times” are available on major music streaming websites such as Spotify, Amazon, Deezer, YouTube, etc.

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3

Mar

Patriks releases his new single 'RUNNING'

The 22-year-old singer/songwriter has returned with his single 'RUNNING' to give his listeners a better insight on what story the upcoming debut album 'PENUMBRA' is based on.

Patriks describes his new song: This song portraits the process after a breakup when you realize that the closest person you have is inevitably becoming a stranger, so there is nothing else to do except run away from all the pain and emotions.

Patriks identifies with such genres as: R&B/Soul, Alternative Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Bedroom Pop, Neo Soul and others.

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