"Only all together as a team, with big love can we do huge things!"
Aleksandr L. selects music that works in all settings and transcends genres. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest projects.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
As I was born in Lithuania during the period of Soviet Union occupation, it was really difficult to get any kind of foreign music. Especially from the underground scene. Somehow some of my friends and my older cousin were acquiring various tapes. We ended up sharing one tape throughout almost our entire time going to school. Making copies. Now that sounds weird but still brings nostalgia. First it was tapes with Eurodance. Later I got a tape with the Prodigy album “Music for the jilted generation”. And the real dive into the world of electronic music happened when I got connected to the internet. And up to right now my taste is still developing.
In and out of the electronic music circle, who is an inspiration to you?
It is difficult to name just names. I get inspired by whole culture and people who are involved. Inspired by those who are living their lives to promote and develop our scene.
When did the idea of starting a label begin to take shape? Has it always been something you’ve wanted to do?
Yes, my whole life I was dreaming of doing some podcast show. In the early years, when I was making copies of the tapes, I was adding my voice, imagining that I’m at a radio station. To record a cd for the car was always a long story. I was always putting in an effort on the selections. Checking as many new releases per day as I could. And one day, when I was living in Iceland, not in the best period of my life (you can check the description of our project – music is the cure) I finally decided to start my own project. I started it as a podcast series. And only this year with the help of my friend Algis (Low aka User) we organised our first party. Later my partner in crime Dovydas (Jokios Kulturos) suggested to start a label. For right now we already have two releases of his. Now a compilation is on its way with interesting artists on board. So stay tuned for more.
What can you tell us about the Vilnius scene? What have you learned from the scene in your city?
To make a long story short I will tell just one word. Opium. The main educational and inspiring place in the city. Of course there are other places and guys who are also doing it right. But we should thank the Opium club team for everything that is happening right now in the Vilnius scene! From their very beginning up to right now they have been doing huge things for our scene. And it is not only about music. It is a community. And each year it is getting bigger and bigger. And first of all, I learned how to be a part of the community.
Can you pinpoint any early inspirations for Electric Shapes in terms of labels, artists, aesthetics or otherwise? Similarly, can you highlight any formative experiences that led you on the path to its inception?
Definitely it’s the podcast series Krossfingers.
What is your criteria for choosing artists, projects, releases…?
Love for the music, for what the person is doing.
What can you tell us about Histories of Piscines? What is the concept? What are you trying to convey?
That’s a side project that was born outside of Lithuania. From the name you can already feel it, that it happened in France. One of the evenings I was working on Electric Shapes stuff, and listening to some obscure retro music. My room I was living in was literally behind a swimming pool. So then the idea of doing a weekly selection popped up, it was easy to come up with a name for it. The last thing to decide was the artwork. When I googled for swimming pool pictures – this task was solved. Each mix gets its own swimming pool to describe with the help of music. Originally this was my creative outlet. But then I started an Instagram profile by unveiling the tracklist through stories, one lady contacted me.In our conversation it came up that she is a DJ and a producer based in Amsterdam. I invited her to prepare a podcast for the main series, but Lucie Lucie (Luciana Russo) told me that she wanted to participate in the Histoires de Piscine series. From this moment it partly became a guest mix series as well. At this stage it’s mostly my friends who are taking part in it, but it is growing. And more often I start to hear that this series is much more interesting than the main one. The main idea is to serve strange, obscure, experimental and retro music. Try not to go out into dancefloor tracks. But it is not a must. And mostly these mixes are about selection. So let’s see where it will bring us.
Would you like to share a set? What can you tell us about him? What inspired you?
Usually, when I do a podcast – I find one track and it becomes the core, the skeleton for the whole podcast. Then, like with the body – I add muscles, skin and sensory organs. And all the time I keep in mind that I want to tell a story to my listeners.
So in your case the track-skeleton was PIT feat Ramin – so let’s say at this time I was inspired by a 90s trance track.
What makes a good mix to you?
Idea, sequence and harmony.
What have been your personal highlights and lowlights?
The highlight of all that I’ve been doing is communication. I love to speak with different people from different countries about music, about the scene. I love to know what is happening in other countries. For the lowlights - not that much. But I’m getting really disappointed with guys in the scene who think only about themselves. Only all together as a team, with big love can we do huge things!
What is missing from the dance music scene nowadays?
Love hugs and dance is missing
Do you think that after the Covid-19 event, the music industry will change?
I think that sooner or later everything will be back to normal. But in the beginning for sure more private parties will appear. Kind of like going back to the 90s with illegal parties. They’re gonna be legal, but with limited people inside. So there would be no space for mainstream and commercial things.
What lesson should we learn from this paralysis?
Each of us is responsible for each other. Love and care will save the world!
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
Depeche Mode – Freelove
MC B - Crazy
2pac – changes
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Queen – Cool Cat
and the entire catalogue from Music from Memory
What’s your favourite “save the dancefloor” song?
Red Axes – Waiting for Surprise
Prodigy – No Good
Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
Manfredas - Glasswalk
What are your future plans?
As i already said, this year we started with events and a label. COVID-19 changed our plans. But we will surrvive. Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. As a label we have planned two compilations and an EP from Tassilo Vanhofen. With events it is more difficult nowadays. But I want to realise my idea of not being connected to one place/city/country. We want to go worldwide. And of course there’s the Histoires de Piscine series, I want to bring this series to a real swimming pool, and dance around and in it.
Describe Electric Shapes in 5 Words.