MXF picks Lithuania’s best tunes of 2016

Despite last year’s craziness, Lithuanian musicians kept their heads down, and continued to make top-quality, exportable tunes.

This means us at Music Export Fund had the enviable task of raking through every track that came Lithuania over the last year, and choosing what we thought were Lithuania’s standout songs and videos from 2016.

Anyway, with a new year and a new start, MXF would like to wish our members, and all musicians everywhere an awesome year!

Without Letters

Mark (Director) says: Without Letters are without doubt one of the bravest experimental electronic bands around. They don’t hide behind the “experimental” tag, they genuinely experiment and produce new twists on genres you thought couldn’t be taken any further. I chose their single “Heritage” because the video is as twisted and disturbing as the song. It actually makes me uncomfortable but I have watched it many times, and I am not sure if it’s punk or post-dubstep. The driving rhythm and multiple epic breakdowns have been stuck in my brain all year, and the video, directed by Saulė Bliuvaitė, is simply WTF beautiful. This band deserve much more international attention, so I am happy to call them my favourite of 2016 and I hope more people around the world notice them next year. Don’t sleep on this one, world!”

Without Letters

Without Letters (Photo by: Off To Somewhere)

Buy Without Letters HERE:

Šventinis bankuchenas

George (Editor) says: Šventinis bankuchenas’ “Lietuvos istorijos repas” (EN: “Lithuanian History Rap”) is easily my favourite Lithuanian tune of 2016. Why? Lithuanian history isn’t particularly easy to understand, and like any other country’s past, neither is it particularly cheerful. However, Šventinis bankuchenas have broken all notions that history has to be learnt from a book by rapping about it. They also used a mega animated video to put a lighthearted spin on things. I also feel that the video shows everything contemporary Lithuania is about: it’s funny, it’s intelligent, it’s creative, and most of all, it’s exportable – the subtitles are in English, so even if you don’t speak Lithuanian, you’ll be able to get to grips with over 1,000 years of the country’s history in five minutes. Hopefully it’ll even make you want to visit us to find out more!”

Šventinis bankuchenas' 'Lietuvos istorijos repas'

Šventinis bankuchenas’ ‘Lietuvos istorijos repas’ (Photo by: YouTube)

Buy Šventinis bankuchenas HERE:

The Sneekers

Tomas (Consultant) says: “The legendary song “Ghetto Superstar” was revived by Vilnius house legends, The Sneekers. They have done an amazing job to incorporate their ideas into the track to make sure it sounds up-to-date in 2016. You can feel the quality of the tune’s production from the first beat, and that’s super important when you’re aiming to have a strong exportable release because the mixdown and mastering have to be spot on, and in this record, they both are. Once the first chords kick in, you can feel that the musical part is strong and contemporary as well, and it’s not just another cheap rip-off. It will make you feel like it’s July and you’re at a boat party somewhere in the Mediterranean, wearing sunglasses, and putting in the legwork. The process of making “Ghetto Superstar” a quality release was also helped by British reinforcements, Deep Matter, who made sure the remix was as good as possible thanks their tweaks and remixes. The whole thing was put together in Lithuania by the Sneekers’ own imprint, SNK Records, who made sure that this release has all the ingredients it needs to be played in Ibiza and ultimately, your playlist.”


The Sneekers (Photo by: The Sneekers)

Buy The Sneekers HERE:

Deeper Upper

Paulina (Project Manager) says: “With electronic music being the dominant sound of the day, it’s a huge pleasure to hear it in individual producers’ work, and how bands can successfully blend it with more “traditional” genres. To me, one of the biggest discoveries of this coming together was Deeper Upper who released their debut album, “Mirrors”, in December. Having taken the indie sound they have already mastered one step further, the band created a piece of art that can easily make you feel like it’s a Friday night on any boring workday. The album is crowned by the banging party anthem “No Regrets”, which was recently accompanied by a video that’s both stylistically refreshing and culturally important as it reflects our generation’s experience of dealing with the hangovers of the Soviet Union’s 50-year occupation of Lithuania.

Deeper Upper

Deeper Upper (Photo by Agnė Papievytė)

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Andrius (Client Manager) says: Manfredas has steadily become one of the best Lithuanian electronic music acts. Even though he keeps a low profile for the most part, and you won’t see him on the list of nominees for the Lithuanian National Music Awards (M.A.M.A.) anytime soon, 2016 saw him release tracks on labels such as Multi Culti and Les Disques de la Mort. He also toured in countries ranging from Mexico to Israel, and he is a regular at Berlin’s infamous ​Salon Zur Wilden Renate. I’m sure he will be even more in-demand in 2017.

“Anyone who has ever been to the Manfredas-run SMALA party will have heard “Glasswalk” for sure. It was a massive track, and it brings back many good memories for me – I’ve danced to it in the dark corners of Opium Club (the only place in Vilnius he plays), on Nida beach at sunrise, and probably 10 other parties. I can’t remember much about them, but one thing I do know is that the crowd went wild every time somebody played this monster track. It’s hard to say what makes it so special or even what genre it is, but one thing is for sure – when this track is played at a party, you’ll start to move whether you like it or not.”


Manfredas (Photo by: Manfredas)

Buy Manfredas HERE:

Solo Ansamblis

Motiejus (Music Scout) says: This year was a great year for Lithuanian music to say the least, and one of my absolute favourite releases from this year was Solo Ansamblis’ debut album “Roboxai“. The band used to be part of the ‘sung-poetry’ movement, but changed their sound completely, and came up with this dark-sounding album, as well as coining the term “sad dance” which I think is the most fitting word to describe their music. The first single from “Roboxai”, “Įstriži Žiburiai” is my choice for Lithuania’s best track of 2016’s. It’s techno, it’s post-punk, it’s romantic, it’s unique, it’s Lithuanian… it’s great.”

Solo Ansamblis

Solo Ansamblis (Photo by: by Alan Scerbakov)

Buy Solo Ansamblis HERE: