New Wave retrospection is at the core, Modern Romantics with an Eastern European tongue.
My knowledge of Lithuania is pretty limited. I know the capital, Vilnius but that’s more because I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with world capitals. I also know it was part of the ex-soviet block, and that Ireland have played them in football a few times. But apart from that, the Lithuanian knowledge cupboard is pretty bare. I know nothing about music from the small European nation, nada de nada. So when Bordello A Parigi announced a release by VRR (aka Verslo Rizikos Rezervas) my interest was piqued.
Strings and pads flow from the outset. New Wave retrospection is at the core, Modern Romantics with an Eastern European tongue. I’ve come across snippets of 80s Synth from former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania, but Lithuanian is new to me. Across the EP the production is superb, as is the range. The medley of analogue and guitar calls to mind Clan of Xymox, especially for the title piece. At times the machinery takes a more central role, but it never hogs the limelight. Instead that bright eyed excitement that characterized the dawn of the synth is present, an enthusiasm and eagerness to blend electronic elements with traditional instruments. “Akumuliatorius” opens the flip and is more experimental than its predecessors, vocals spinning and spiraling in rings of folk disorientation. The 12” finishes with the strangely dark “Kerstas,” an estranging yet uplifting end.
VRR are by no means typical of the electronic genre tag. Post Punk, Wave and Industrial are the influences of this quartet. But bleakness is not part of their message. The hardship and unhappiness that molded much of the 80s, the anger and angst of the music is washed over by optimism. But the faintest touch of that original tension persists, a heaviness lying between the notes.
Nebelipk is available on Bordello A Parigi.