music from jamaica finds its place everywhere from New Zealand to … Lithuania. ya, don’t be surprised even there people create joyfull sounds of ska, ‘cos this global kind of music came from nature, its not artificial stuff occupied by one nation like, for example country music. people all around the world transform the music accordind to their mind and that is why ska music everywhere so different, but everywhere it has the same spirit. well, Lithuania is still outside Europian Union border, but, in my view, it should be marked United Nations of Ska map.

for those who don’t know, Lithuania lies near the Baltic sea, just in front of Sweden, near Poland, Byelorussia, Latvia. it was occupied by former Soviet Union (bloody hell those unions are everywhere!) right after World War II. we lived under russian pressure (there was really ‘too much pressure’!) untill 1990. at the moment Lithuania is independent state with its capital Vilnius and about 3,5 millions inhabitans. they speak their own language (not russian!), write latin letters (not russian ‘kirilica’), eat various potatoes dishes, play or watch on TV basketball and are very religious. fuck, it’s boring!

first of all, to be honest, I should say that there are no pure ska band in Lithuania. sad but true. lots of bands are influenced by ska artists, but nobody play 100% ska. but nevermind and keep on reading.

when the Soviet Union was living its last days, there was alternative music explosion in Lithuania in 1986. untill then all this “western low quality music” was officially forbidden. believe it or not, but we even had lists of forbidden bands with Ramones, AC/DC, A.Cooper, etc. so ten years ago two bands were playing something close to ska. first one was ANTIS. actually it was political band, but it was very jolly, with horns and wise ironic lyrics. in general they played a mixture of various styles and amongst them ska found its place. another one was BIX - punky stuff with ska influence with horns, cool percussion, funny keyboards and real ska image. they were very popular in 1987-90, played lots of gigs, toured in USA, France, Germany, etc. ANTIS (‘duck’) is dead and BIX became fuckin’ mainstream bands with freaky rock, no horns anymore, no such drive.

new generation came about ’95. former punks were looking for something new and found reggae and ska. most of them are keeping on playing punkrock, but with more and more ska/reggae spices. bands like KAMSTIS, APATIJA, INVAZIJA, GRUPE BE PAVADINIMO, TURBOREANIMACIJA play quite raw stuff, but from time to time turn to positive vibrations fields.

DARBUOTOJO IGUDZIAI is one-man project with drum machine and female bass. it’s original ska with meanful lyrics. they are only studio band with few demo tapes. Smalke, the leader of D.I. can be called ideological father of Lithuanian underground. he never talks about straight edge, but he never smoked a cigarette or drunk alcohol.

Dr.GREEN is the only band which tries to play strong and fast skacore. the band still haven’t released an album, but they are going to record the first Lithuanian skacore album in the end of ’97. ‘doctors’ are looking for horns, but it is a big problem with them, ‘cos everybody who plays trumpet or sax, plays jazz or in a orchestra. they are ‘cool musicians’ and want to play ‘serious’ music. Dr.GREEN succesfully toured through Lithuania, Russia.

LIPNUS MACHARADZOS PIRSTAI - very nice and tuneful band, exploding more reggae fields. people like them very much, ‘cos of their honesty. drummer is a leader of the band, he helps on vocals, makes various shouts. L.M.P. have a tape released under d.i.y. label‘amigo sun’. Lithuanian reggae? why not!

TAI KA? is a retro-punk-ska band, the only one from this ‘family’ with saxophone (happy ones!). band with ska image and melodic jolly songs. TAI KA? is a very popular pub’s bands, actually their good with beer. students of Vilnius having fun during their performances, chicks are looking after lead singer Lencas.

so we have what we have. I don’t want to blow a big bubble about ska in Lithuania, but there are seeds, so maybe in few years something will be grown. by the way a lot of seeds were sown after Russian skacore band SPITFIRE (‘pork pie’ family band, worth to check out) toured Lithuania last spring.

so this is the way things are. thanx for your attention, hope to hear from you sometime! bye!

Namas / P.O.Box 790 / 2050 Vilnius / Lithuania / namas@pub.osf.lt

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