Since the release of ‘Paskutinis Repo Albumas’ (‘The Last Rap Album’) in 2013 Mesijus (Žygimantas Kudirka) has been making his way as a most creative hip-hop artist in Lithuania, attracting fans from both worlds: underground and mainstream. His hugely successful album ‘#uzgrotu’ (‘#behindbars’) with Münpauzn has spawned a sequel EP ‘Pomirtinis’ (‘Afterlife’) last year and now he’s back with more.
Last year Mesijus announced that he will be collaborating with Adas Gecevičius of Sheep Got Waxed and visual artist Asta Ostrovskaja. The project is called ‘Vilniaus Energija’ – due to a legal loophole they were able to officially name themselves after the capital’s energy company. The duo teased the LP at ’Supynės’ festival and earlier this month Mesijus announced that the double album ‘DDVVIIGGUUBBAASS’ (literally translated to ‘DDOOUUBBLLEE’) is going to be released in a few weeks.
The album is split in two: disc one is called ‘Emotion’ while the second one is ‘Motion’. The two sides are well seperated – Emotion is comparatively mellow in both: its composition and lyrical content, mostly comprising of tracks about feelings, an area that Mesijus has yet to explore more, while ‘Motion’ is more danceable and talks mostly about moving things: everything from drones to viruses.
Although most of Mesijus’ work is in Lithuanian, he did include a few tracks in English, namely ‘Br8k It Up’ and ‘I Put A Spell On You’. Sadly, most of Mesijus’ genius word-play is absent on those. When performing abroad though, Mesijus frequently uses projections with real-time translations of his original lyrics or texts (he’s a prolific writer of slam poetry too).
The first single of the album, ‘IQ Daktaras’ (‘IQ Doctor’) was released alongside an eerie music video shot in an old power station. The 3 minute video was directed by Andrius Paškevičius, featuring Šarūnas Zenkevičius as a lead.
The first CD features a pseudo-covers of a few famous Lithuanian songs: ‘Mono arba Stereo’ (originally by Andrius Mamontovas), ‘Mylėt Save’ (‘To Love Yourself’, originally Lemon Joy’s ‘To Love You’) and ‘Laiko Nesustabdysi’ (‘The Time Can’t Be Stopped’ originally by opera singer Virgilijus Noreika and rapper Lukas). The latter, being a song about how the time cannot be reversed, is partly reversed itself – Mesijus sings (or pretends) lyrics backwards.
Some of the tracks from ‘Motion’ are recycled from Mesijus’ earlier works: ‘Kartojami Žodžiai’, a song about how words that are repeated a number of times lose their meaning (creating sort of a backwards déjà vu – jamais vu), was earlier featured in Žygimantas’ book ‘XXI Amžiaus Kudirka’ (‘21st Century Kudirka’); ‘Dronai’, a collection of modernized aphorisms about drones, was recorded by him and A. Gecevičius for XII Baltic Triennial back in 2015.
All in all, ‘DDVVIIGGUUBBAASS’ is another great collection of Lithuania’s finest alternative hip-hop (although one might say that Mesijus is a genre on his own). However, at times the album seems a bit scattered – that may be due to the album being a double LP. Some of it feels like a filler that is not bad, it’s just unnecessary.
Those who are used to his collaborations with Münpauzn might feel a bit of shock at first, since Adas’ compositions are more harsh, industrial and dance-ready, a pleasant change that will put a new color to Mesijus’ music.
Now it’s your time to give Vilniaus Energija a listen. What are your thoughts?
If you want to catch ‘Vilniaus Energija’ live, now is your chance.
If you want a copy of ‘DDVVIIGGUUBBAASS’, hit Mesijus up at firstname.lastname@example.org