In my never ending search for quality electronic music, I was lucky enough to come across Evaldas Azbukauskas and Cold Tear Records.
Cold Tear Records is putting out some very deep and very ambient dub-techno that is a real treat for anyone who has been fortunate enough to find this indie gem.
Evaldas is not only a producer, but the brainchild and owner of the label. While he is also known to produce under several different monikers, I am most interested in the Giriu Dvasios project for the purposes of this interview.
The name translates to Spirits of the Forest, so it makes sense that Giriu's sonics would be steeped in expansive, earthy vibes. How much of his work is paying tribute to the environment of his native Lithuania?
I was given the opportunity to get an answer to that as well as what influences the model and philosophy of both Giriu and Cold Tear Records.
Prox: Lately there seems to have been an increased interest in deep dub and house (at least here in the States). Why do you think the musical landscape has been evolving into more expansive techno?
Giriu: I haven’t noticed this trend, so I don’t have much to say about that. Maybe I have isolated myself within the genres I like and I don’t pay much attention to what’s going on in music overall.
Prox: Cold Tear has become quite an underground gem for fans of deep electronica. How has the catalog changed over the years in regards to what the label likes to release?
Giriu: Cold Tear Records started as a label that released all kinds of electronic music. However we always oriented ourselves towards deeper music.
As the years went by we became a dub techno label more and more each day. Nowadays, this is what we are, a dub techno label. Although we may still put out some ambient, as I feel it complements dub techno very well.
Prox: What would you say is the overall mission of Cold Tear? Why has the label opted to release so much free music in the past?
Giriu: We still release music for free. We just want our music to spread, we don’t want to limit our stuff to only what makes sense commercially. It’s not about money after all, however I have a belief that this strategy pays off at the end of the day. The overall mission is just to have a way to release my own music and create a platform for talented artists to do the same and to help them find their audience.
Prox: Giriu Dvasios translates to “Spirits of the Forest.” Could you describe the Lithuanian terrain for those unfamiliar with it? How does it directly impact your music and philosophical/spiritual system?
Giriu: Lithuania is a small country, but we have a lot of forests, rivers and lakes. Not many hills, mostly flat, but it is beautiful. Our ethnic culture and our ancient baltic pagan religion has a very close relationship with nature. It impacts Giriu Dvasios directly, my music is very closely related to the experience of nature. I am trying to separate my ego from Giriu Dvasios music, so it becomes an expression of nature itself rather than me as an individual person, if that makes sense. I always try to lose myself when I’m producing and performing as Giriu Dvasios. I think that pretty much sums up what this project is about in a short way. We could talk about it all day though.
Prox: What is the significance of the name Tyla? Why did you choose this for the title of your latest release and how does this contribute to the atmosphere?
Giriu: Tyla means silence in Lithuania. Silence is a necessary condition for sound to exist. Silence and sound are inseparable. And that reflects the way of nature. You have darkness and light, creation and destruction. It’s a never ending interaction of the opposites that expresses itself as the whole universe.
Prox: Tell us something about yourself that we may not know that influences your work.
Giriu: If we’re talking about Giriu Dvasios, I believe I have already explained my inspirations for it. But recently I’ve started a new project called Tamsa, which means “darkness” in Lithuanian. It is dedicated to heavier and darker techno music. It was inspired by the change of environment for me, as I recently moved to a bigger city. Which is a lot more hectic. I used to hate that, but this time I found my self comfortable in that kind of environment. I guess this project is sort of an opposite to Giriu Dvasios. It was also inspired by the brutalist architecture, which is mostly huge concrete blocks, built mostly in the soviet era.
Prox: Who are some of your favorite artists, business people, creatives or intellectuals?
Giriu: I really admire Aphex Twin, because he’s a true artist, he does what he wants with no regard to how his audience may react to what he does. I respect that a lot. It may not sound nice, but that’s what art is supposed to be. It’s not only there to please people and make them feel comfortable. It’s there to push the boundaries of what’s normal and that’s the way to move forward.
I also admire Steve Jobs, for his ability to see things and possibilities others were not able to. He was a true visionary.
Alan Watts influenced my worldview a lot. I cannot say enough, I’m very grateful for his philosophy. I also admire his ability to speak so eloquently.
I also admire Jordan B. Peterson. I love how he describes the mythological archetypes and how are they actually related to the real life, how they express what every one of us go through.
Prox: Favorite Hobbies?
Giriu: I hardly do anything outside of music. I’m interested in marketing, but that also helps with music. I also like to takes pictures of nature and brutalist architecture and post them on my Instagram.
Prox: Tips for aspiring musicians and label owners?
Giriu: The best advice I can give is try to learn something about marketing and business in general. Yes it’s not about money, but it will help you to reach your goals even if your project is completely non-commercial. Also, always move forward. If your new release was unsuccessful, try to learn from your mistakes and do the next one. This business is about persistence. What you are doing today may pay off in five years so never stop.
Prox: Anymore information on other upcoming projects and releases?
Giriu: I’ve already mentioned Tamsa. Check it out if you’re into darker techno.
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Giriu: Thank you for an invitation to do this interview. I hope people will find it interesting and maybe will even find some inspiration. My warmest wishes to everyone.
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