A total of 11 record albums were submitted and evaluated in the category “Electronic Music Album”, with artists such as Thomas Haze, “N’WORKS”, “Puffin”, “MT $”, “Heskk” and “Urbanstep” remaining in the top five. Nominated entries include “Brimstone” (“Golden Microphone 2019” winner in this category), “KODEK” (2012 winner), “Cassettes”, Oriole, Kārlis Kazāks and Kaspars Tobis.
Karmena Stepanova, producer and DJ of Latvijas Radio 5 – Pieci.lv, after evaluating the category, admits: “How would you describe this category? A category in which, when choosing potential nominees, to experience discoveries and rejoice that there is a separate category for this genre of music. I think it gives an impetus to create and experiment, and I can’t expect both who will earn the “Golden Microphone” in this nomination and what the future of this genre will be. “
I have to say, I was most interested in evaluating the category “Electronic music album” this year. Given that electronic music is a very broad genre rich in specific possibilities, in order for a musician to be noticed at all, he must be erudite, with his attitude and his story. Among the nominees there are mutually different entries, in which the individuality of each individual musician stands out, the handwriting. In general, the category was a great pleasure to get along rhythmically even in the conditions of home sitting, ”says Aiga Leitholde, music viewer of the portal LSM.lv.
Meanwhile, Latvijas Radio 5 – Pieci.lv Music editor, music producer and DJ Mārtiņš Makreckis (Makree) is laconic: “Polished sound mixes and sticking to the chosen concept. There are no limits to electronic music, and this year’s nominees prove it perfectly. “
Played – Kārlis Kazāks and Kaspars Tobis
Kārlis Kazāks has been on the Latvian music scene since 1995. With the band Oceanfall, he released the album “River without Bridges” in 2002 (recording company Upe). He has released solo albums “On My Palms” (2007), “16 Hours” (2013), “Beds” (2015), “and She” (2017) and “Played” (2020). Having released the album “13 i 1” with songs in Latvian dialects, which were created during the reception of the program “Hear the Voices with Kārlis Kazāks”, the album is eligible for the Golden Microphone 2021 award in the category “Folk or World Music Album”.
In 2020, together with Kaspars Tobi, he released the album “Apspelēts” and played 3 concerts in the Great Hall of the Latvian National Theater.
Blaumanis Time Machine – Oriole
Oriole has been producing music since 2002. One of the pioneers of “Dirty Deal Audio”. So far, he has released 8 solo albums, and released “Orka EP” with electronic music producer Kashuk. The anthem “Anthems” was released with the rapper and the EP “AM I TOO LATE ?!” with the rapper Hunn. Produced and participated in the creation of more than 100 albums. He has performed at major Latvian festivals, as well as in Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Norway. Participated in the creation of soundtracks for the film “Mushrooms” and other video projects. Several experimental concerts were held together with the singer Katrīna Gupalo.
He has been nominated for the Golden Microphone Award several times as an Electronic Music Album. In 2020, he released the album “Blaumanis Laika Mašīna”.
Cheasy Rider – CODEC
KODEK is one of the brightest representatives of the Latvian electronic music scene. One of the biggest local successes was winning the Music Record of the Year Award in 2012 with the album “Flavors From The Future”, when the award was presented for the first time in the “Electronic Music Album” category.
This year, after an eight-year hiatus, KODEK is once again vying for the Golden Microphone Award with its new album Cheasy Rider.
Dialogue – Cassettes
Vaidava synth pop association “KASETES” second studio album “Dialogue” is also available in vinyl format. Atmospheric, nostalgic and faithful to the sound of “Cassettes”, writing this album, the musicians are especially inspired by life in the capital. Describing it as northern Miami Vice, one can hear the night rides of the old Audi around Riga, when the right hand is holding the steering wheel, but the left is lightly hung out the window, and a cigarette is smoking in his fingers.
The new album includes compositions created in collaboration with such Latvian musicians as MNTHA, PODRUGA, Anete Stuce (group “Rīgas modes”), project “2222” (ansis, Viesturs Melders).
Insulin – BRIMSTONE
Brimstone is an alliance of two talented musicians McAlvis (Alvis Andrucis) from Riga and Aleksandrs Erets from the Russian city of Ekaterinburg. Producers roam the field of future garage, dubstep, garage UK, future bass and chillstep style electronic music. The musicians decided to unite after working together on the album Trapezium, which was released in 2017 under the auspices of the Danish label “CUT Records”. “Brimstone” immediately gained recognition and popularity in the hearts of fans of this genre and secured a place among the best artists of the future garage of electronic music and performed at festivals of this genre in Germany, Russia and England.
In 2018, “Brimstone” presented the second album EIGHT to the audience and became the winners of “Golden Microphone” in the category “Electronic Music Album”. In the same year, the third album “Sleepwalkers” was released, while the fourth full-length album “The intermediaries” reached the discography repository in 2019, also being nominated for the “Golden Microphone” award. Brimstone’s latest album “Insulin”, released in vinyl, has also entered the top five of the “Golden Microphone” nominees this year.
“We don’t know if it’s good or bad, but from album to album we are always reborn. Only in this way can we do something interesting that makes us goosebumps and takes our breath away, ”says Brimstone.