like about one third of people from Latvia incidentally, comes from
Riga. He plays the guitar, synthesizer, a mean game of beach-soccer,
bass, harp, sings and writes songs. He started by teaching himself
to play the guitar alone in his flat. Early on he was influenced
by 80’s indie music and Latvian underground stuff. A year or two
later M. started the lo-fi combo LOPS (roughly beast or animal in English).
Martins’ first ‘normal’ band was Plastalins,
created with Shakalis and Janis Daugavietis in
the Autumn of 1995. Plastalins only lasted eight
months. Their short lived rock-life ended with a ‘solo performance’
in the spring of 1996. Their output was furious, over 35 tunes,
but the only stuff available is their ‘Kust’ tape on Tornis (a
must have for the cover art alone!
the music’s damn swell too, though). A new comp of
Plastalins material should be out fairly soon featuring
some of the bands ‘hidden rock-gems.’
Martins second band was (and remains)
SIRKE, "Latvian leading guitarheroes"
according to somebody. This somebody thoroughly agrees by the
way. Go to their page to read more, and come check them
out and meet everybody when they’re on tour
in central and western Europe soon.
You may possibly be allowed to sample the richness that is an Elita
or Prima cigarette because they’re all bringing cartons!
But we must digress if only slightly, Martins started by playing
music alone and he still does. Every six months he’s good for
about thirty new songs which he either records in his bedroom or with
friends at their flats.
He also plays live when the opportunity
presents itself, and can always be counted on for amusing between song
banter. The songs for his first album were recorded in 1997 and
should soon be released on a cassette "Nav neka labaka par nejauku
laiku" ("Nothing's better than bad weather"). Martins
one of the best solo players around, just be careful when you listen,
his love tunes make people cry.
(Latvian text by
jd, English - Josh Vanek, Riga-Ventspils, September 1998)
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