Cassette Reviews

Gintas K

August 17, 2012

Copy for your Records

So tonight I returned to the cassette tape by Gintas K released not that long ago by the Copy for your Records label that I played a few times yesterday. The tape does not seem to have a title, and the name Gintas K is the musician name of Lithuanian digital/electroacoustic musician Gintas Kraptavičius. When I played the tape yesterday it left me somewhat cold, or maybe just somewhat ambivalent to it if anything, not really liking or disliking the music and struggling to think of anything to say about it. Tonight my thoughts haven’t really evolved that much further, except to say that while I can appreciate some of its qualities I’m probably not the biggest fan of the tape.

There are five tracks spread across the two sides of the tape, with the points whereby one track ends and the next begins somewhat blurred. All five pieces seem to have been evolved out of either the same, or at the very least a very similar set of sounds, perhaps acoustic sounds recorded and then treated digitally, or maybe just something borne out of a laptop soundcard. Its difficult to tell, but certainly right throughout the album there is a slight digital edge to everything, that synthetic feel never heard anywhere before computers were invented. The sounds often resemble little bursting bubbles of air, sometimes becoming more squelchy, sometimes merging into something nearer white noise, but always digital in feel and never straying too far from the basic template.

So the five tracks here are made up of these sounds, which thicken, thin out, merge, amass into something more dense, and break down again to form the compositions. Its all quite nicely done, and not really understanding the processes involved in making this music I can only assume a fair amount of skill has been involved, particularly as I think the tape is all improvised. The problem for me personally though is that the final music is not really all that interesting. The sounds used feel a bit old hat to me, lacking the warmth and texture of acoustic sound but not really containing enough depth and variety to make up for this loss. They are then put to work in a perfectly OK, but really not all that extraordinary manner. A lot happens as sounds fly in an out, but they are all a bit too similar and digitally cold for my taste, and the structure of the works, mostly starting and ending sparsely with a more energetic plateaux in between doesn’t do enough to distract me from the sounds themselves.

This is probably just a taste thing, and others may well marvel over Gintas K’s artificial landscapes as I miss the point entirely, but after listening through six or seven times now I end up just shrugging my shoulders a bit and moving on to the next release. Your own mileage will doubtlessly vary.

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