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CD Feature/ Gintas K: "Lovely Banalities"

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“Lovely Banalities” is the second Gintas K-CD released by “Cronica Electronica”. Both collaborations of this Lithuanian sound artist and the Portuguese label specialising in electronic music seem to foster fascinating outcomes that are real discoveries for admirers of digital music rooted in various branches of microsound. This time, it is an album intended for careful and adventurous listening and an intense musical experience.   

Already on first track “In”, you might suddenly realize that you'd like to listen to “Lovely Banalities” with your eyes closed. The track begins with a few simple vibrating tones, gradually evolves into a major chord, then dissolves into generated melodies which fall into various spacious points in between right and left of your speakers. Finally, it grows into a tin-consonance colored by a slight distortion. At that point, the sonic, compositional logic of the album has been all but completely revealed to you. If you accept it with grace, you’ll enter a marvelous journey through pretty sophisticated sound spirals, which are highly dynamic, dense, lavish (in the sense of offering a colorful timbre palette) and spacious, as it seems as if your speakers are put into a highway of (micro) sonic flow – both horizontally and threedimensionally, quite schizophrenic in a way of constantly diverging and unifying sonic objects.

You will find these elements in nearly every piece, especially in those, where sonic plasticity is the key. “Just 2” divides listeners’ attention in between an intensifying murmur of blunt bubbles (you can hear a few layers of them) and resonating timbre, which dives in and out. “27” evolves with a few nets of pinging transformator-like sounds and step-by-step wraps up a simple melody. All tracks are centered around hardly palpable compositional ideas and cranked up or gently directed towards a textured sonic tapestry, painted by granular sounds. That is why your thoughts might barely move as they’re trapped into this grainy sparkling of sound, which insensibly infects the way you perceive space and time at that particular moment.

However, the tracks are interconnected by short episodes of field recordings, made in Gintas K hometown Marijampolė. The recorded sections are not too cinematic and one can treat them simply as gestures of remembrance. It’s the most opportune time for the listener to grasp the meaning of the title of the album, “Lovely Banalities”. And that’s how one realizes the narrative and imagery that lies behind the sonic forms: they become expressions of moods. “Found feeling” isn’t just one of those sonant and bright chords, sounding like a crystal – but it’s also this poetic “found feeling”, maybe from somewhere there, in Marijampolė, or anywhere else in the listeners mind and her/his own experience. There is quite a hypnotizing bit of melancholy and transparent (and somewhat tricky) sentimentality in “Lovely banalities”. It might leave this taste after a thorough listening, as the last track, already mentioned “Found feeling” creates a lazy sunny mood, but it’s scratching composition and microscopic changes of mood-shapes might resemble somebody sitting in a terrace one summer afternoon enjoying the purposeless dance of the meaningless gaze.

Gintas K once drew a parallel between “Lovely Banalities” and “Pictures at an Exhibition” – a famous suite by Modest Mussorgsky, where every piece becomes a musical interpretation for a picture and one is listening to the suite as if she / he would be passing the doors from one imagery to the other and having promenades in between them. I find this parallel amusing, as “Lovely Banalities” is full of adventurous transitions between sonic perception, sophisticated compositions and imaginary moods, feelings and memories.        

By Tautvydas Bajarkevičius

Tautvydas Bajarkevičius is a sound artist, curator and writer from Lithuania.

Homepage: Gintas K
Homepage: Cronica Electronica

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