Viduslaiki is one album fans of classic Latvian rock or synthesizer music will want to have. If you are familiar with Dzeltenie pastnieki, you’ll know who Ingus Baušķenieks is and be familiar with his very different music styling and voice. His latest creation definitely has his signature and takes me back to the 1980s.
Musically the album reminds me of a rock opera and seems to have various stages to it, although I’m not sure this was the intent, as the liner notes do not mention anything to that effect. In fact, the liner notes really provide no information beyond the tracks, times and who played on which tracks. I would have preferred a little more information about the album and its intended mood.
The beginning track, “Vēss vērmelēm” is an instrumental piece and sets a mood that is very meditative yet prepares you for some action later. Track 2 is definitely like some of the 1980s electronic rock that artists such as Thomas Dolby and others created. But, again, it sounds like Dzeltenie pastnieki and Baušķenieks.
After another track of faster music, we’re transported back to the meditative music of the first track, but now with lyrics added. With Baušķenieks’ voice and the music, you feel like you’re listening to what I term “outer space” music.
The rest of the album is very much in a pattern. There are moments of interlude music that give you a rest from the other tracks that have a certain energy or heavy feel to them. Those are followed by music that has very definite beats and rhythms.
If one were to place this recording in terms of style, it would almost have to be filed under New Age or, better yet, electronica. Almost the entire album seems to be played on synthesizers with some guitar and drum tracks or loops here and there. It very definitely outside the realm of regular rock music or other styles.
Overall, the album is very enjoyable, provided you like this genre of music. For some people it may be too electronic, introspective or just plain different. But then, given the composer and musician, one should not be surprised. I would recommend this album to anyone who liked Dzeltenie pastnieki or is a fan of electronica. The music is well played, highly original and entertaining.
Ingusa Baušķenieka ieraksti, 2003
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