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Underground Sounds: Imants Daksis – Mūžīgā ģeogrāfa piedzīvojumi

Label: Lauska
Band: Imants Daksis
Country: Latvia

I have a profound love for the Baltics. The rugged land, the history, the people and the beautiful culture. Like the culture of the bards in Russia, the Balts have their own style of singer-songwritership that holds close ties to poetry and ethnic culture, but I digress. I’ve been listening to the music of Imants Daksis for years and though the words and language are something I struggle with, I love his unique sound. It feels completely honest, in addition to having an urgency to it that feels very personal.

Think neofolk, maybe even a bit of the martial stuff and we’re getting towards the sound of Imants Daksis. Ethnic instruments are present, the words are abstract and thought provoking. The voice can be shouting, whispering and everything in between. Daksis is a creative sould of 33 years old. He always appears to be exploring and expressing new forms of art.   I don’t know enough about the Latvian music world to say much more.

The title ‘Mūžīgā ģeogrāfa piedzīvojumi’ translates as Eternal Geographical Travels and on it Daksis is, like Rainis and Dostojevski as he writes he writes. As an artist he is trying to make sense of the world. The jangling, slightly dissonant guitar on opener ‘Ir baigi apjaust, ka esi šeit’ is accompanied by the foreboding vocals of Daksis. Never are they polished completely. They always retain a bit of their natural force and roar. The voice is the main instrument for Daksis and therefor always used in exactly the way its intended. Though the sound is essentially Baltic in origin, in addition one can detect various influences. Therefore the music takes on a universal feel and that fits very well into the concept.

The slow trickling ‘Jūdas dziesma’ deals with the forlorn deserts of the land of Judah and the wars that rage there and the meaningless of it all. It sounds so mellow, but haunting as well and slowly grips you. Sometimes playful, always a bit raw on the edges and never overly complicated. Daksis likes to keep things simple and accesible for the listeners. Personal favorite is probably ‘Rudens sapņi’, where in an almost 9 minutes lasting track all the best features of Daksis’ music pass by. The contained energy and expressive voice are captivating and enthrall the listener.

The great charm of Imants Daksis is not merely the force of the music. It’s the subtleties and poetic aspects of the tunes and words, which are utterly brilliant. It’s never giving more than needed, yet neither less. Dream away to a time before the modern age with this album, you’ll enjoy it.