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Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades (gk. rec. 2022)

by gintas k



All music played, recorded live, at once without any overdub; using computer, midi keyboard & controller.
Gintas K / computer / 2020.
No field recordings is used
Cover art and design by Indra Kraptavičiūtė
Released by gk rec.#06 / 2022
C P 2022 Gintas Kraptavičius
Supported by LKT & AGATA

“I could not help feeling that they were evil things—mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss.”
H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

The darkness always teemed with unexplained sound - and yet he sometimes shook with fear lest the noises he heard subside and allow him to hear certain other fainter noises which he suspected were lurking behind them.
H. P. Lovecraft, The Dreams in the Witch House

“It was a godless sound; one of those low-keyed, insidious outrages of Nature which are not meant to be. To call it a dull wail, a doom-dragged whine, or a hopeless howl of chorused anguish and stricken flesh without mind would be to miss its most quintessential loathsomeness and soul-sickening overtones.”
H.P. Lovecraft, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward


The Lithuanian artist gintas k returns with another iconoclastic batch of tunes, where all the pieces were played and recorded live and use a computer, midi keyboard and controller with no overdubs present.
“Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades #1” opens the listen with a warm backdrop alongside creative percussive sounds that unfold in a sci-fi sort of way, and “Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades #2” follows with faint hissing sounds that shimmer in ambience.
On the back half, the longest track, “Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades #4”, is a busier display of noise manipulation that’s sometimes haunting but always inventive, while “Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades #5” drones with a cinematic presence.
“Eastern Bells”, the final track, makes great use of dense bells that are well timed and make quite an interesting companion to the rest of the listen.
A driving force in the Lithuanian experimental scene since 1994, gintas k was an important piece of the industrial/electronic outfit Modus, and his seemingly unbounded creativity is still very much intact.

Altro tassello nella sterminata discografia di questo sperimentatore lituano che nulla ha a che vedere che l'intrattenimento audio, collocandosi piuttosto nei meandri di una ricerca sui rumori finalizzata a comunicare, destrutturando toni e ricreandoli in una sorta di puzzle scomposto. In questo caso il titolo spiega bene i mezzi e il concept del disco, dove ritroviamo rumori naturali mai sovrincisi. Il lavoro, diviso in sei tracce, vede le prime cinque far leva sui suddetti rumori, spesso riconoscibili e che appaiono quasi cristallizzati, come se stessimo vedendo i toni all'interno di un'ampolla chiusa dove si muovono in maniera imprevedibile e scomposta. Non c'è nulla che riconduce all'intrattenimento né alla creazione evocativa di immagini, assistiamo "solo" ad un quadro asimmetrico e fuori fase (alcune produzioni di nomi come Nurse with Wound o New Blockaders potrebbero rendere in minima parte l'idea) con una volontà forse narcisistica di specchiarsi nel proprio schema di incomunicabilità, nato a partire da elementi schiettamente comunicativi. La traccia conclusiva "Eastern Bells" non c'entra nulla col resto del disco, ma si tratta di campane registrate ristrutturate a mo' di vortice (già fatto dai Current 93 con ben altri effetti), di cui non si capisce il senso e il fine. Rimane la sorprendente capacità di questo autore a non usare field recordings. Per il resto, materiale difficoltoso, soggetto di analisi approfondita più che di piacevole ascolto.
Michele Viali

A Very Worthwhile Experience
GEOFF PEARCE listens to the latest album from Gintas K
'Every time I listen, I feel a different perspective and hear different things ...'
This is the latest creative offering from Gintas K (born 1969) who is a very interesting soundscape artist. I enjoy his creations and this latest set contains six tracks, five of which form the set that falls under the umbrella of the tile of this recording, mountains, runlets, caves and cascades. He provides three quotes from H P Lovecraft (1890-1937) who was a master writer of supernatural horror fiction.

The first track lasts about five minutes, and starts from silence and grows with a kind of block, until this ceases and you are left with drips of liquid, as if you are standing in a subterranean cave and hearing water drip down from the roof. Occasionally louder sounds and rumbles appear for short periods of time, as if they are in the distance. This could be water flowing and the sounds being distorted through the tunnels to reach the listener. This fades away back to nothing. It gives the feeling of being an a damp underground cave.

Listen — Gintas K: mountains, runlets, caves and cascades#1
(gk.rec.2022 track 1, 4:00-4:45) ℗ 2022 Gintas Kraptavičius :

The second track, of about the same length, also starts in silence. Every so often there is a gentle background roar, suggestive of an underground stream moving gently, gaining in power, and perhaps moving small stones and crystals as it moves. The sounds gradually intensify as perhaps you are being drawn closer to the source, but this is intermittent so the direction is not fixed. There are gentle tinkling and clicks that make you wonder if there are creatures of the dark or some sort of presence. In the last few moments the sound becomes more intense: perhaps you are at a waterfall underground, or something similar.

The third track starts with a background trickling that grows and then subsides, and one can sense something moving around, gently disturbing brittle rocks or crystals. The trickling intensifies and there is a muffled roar which gradually gets louder. One gets a feeling of dread, without actually getting to the point of feeling threatened, but it is quite ominous, and almost of a mechanical nature. This subsides but is still present. This is the sort of music to listen to in darkness and let your imagination run wild. I have been into caves a few times, or into river canyons with narrow steep rock walls that are dripping and mossy and also where little sunlight reaches, and I feel a similar effect here.

Listen — Gintas K: mountains, runlets, caves and cascades#3
(gk.rec.2022 track 3, 3:20-4:07) ℗ 2022 Gintas Kraptavičius :

The fourth track is by far the longest, being almost fifteen minutes long. One hears all of the elements from the previous movements, present here and expanded. An eerie silence, followed by deep groans, shot with higher sounds, and all growing in strength and energy. Various elements in turn have their prominence and one feels as if one is in an ancient world, but with a futuristic presence. The mood, energy and sounds are constantly shifting, but the feeling of water trickling over brittle rocks is always there. This is punctuated by moments of uneasy quiet. There are moments where one feels an almost ghostly presence in the fact that it does not quite materialise. Sometimes the sounds are as if from a distance, and at other times they seem very close, but the perception can phase from distant to close very quickly. Sometimes the sound appears above, and at other times below you. About two thirds of the way through this track, the energy becomes almost frantic, but it pulses and one has the feeling that all this energy will not be maintained and this does dissipate. There is a long period of almost static quietness at the end of this track.

The final movement, which lasts about nine minutes, begins in a much louder fashion than the previous ones, and almost an echoey bell effect, before the trickling and tinkling emerges, and this grows in power and energy under a background roar. This contains elements of the previous tracks, but consolidates them, and is the most dynamic of all the tracks but there are passages that are calmer and gentler, or ominous. Most of the energy of this movement happens in the first few minutes, and by the end, the track retreats into silence.

Listen — Gintas K: mountains, runlets, caves and cascades#5
(gk.rec.2022 track 5, 0:00-0:51) ℗ 2022 Gintas Kraptavičius :

There are common elements that unite all of these five tracks and I find the recording's descriptive title - mountains, runlets, caves and cascades - very apt.

The last track, Eastern Bells, starts with a peal of bell-like sounds, and this grows and subsides by varying degrees. There are similarities with the bell type sounds of the last movement of the previous work, but they are a more important element through this track, and one has the sense of a sunrise (at least I do!), or perhaps an emergence from a cave into the wider sunlit and brighter world. There is a central note around which all the other sounds emerge, an F sharp, and this note is present right until almost the end, where the work fragments into nothing.

Listen — Gintas K: Eastern Bells
(gk.rec.2022 track 6, 6:33-7:33) ℗ 2022 Gintas Kraptavičius :

One can imagine all sorts of scenarios whilst listening to this album, and possibly all are valid. This is one of the things I find most fascinating. Every time I listen, I feel a different perspective and hear different things, and a lot depends on the mood I am in when I start listening. Personally I find it a very worthwhile experience, but I also know that some listeners will be somewhat mystified. Copyright © 29 September 2022 Geoff Pearce,
Sydney, Australia

GINTAS K "Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades"
(2022 )
Questo "Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades" è un progetto molto coerente ed in linea con i precedenti lavori dell'autore, l'artista lituano Gintas Kraptavicious (alias Gintas K), significativamente attivo da oltre venticinque anni nel campo della sperimentazione elettronica ed elettroacustica; ha composto peraltro anche musiche per film e curato installazioni sonore.
Va subito detto che quello del nostro artista del suono è un certosino ed approfondito lavoro di ricerca, certamente di nicchia, che trova collocazione nel novero "ambient" della "hard digital music" che estremizza l'esplorazione dei suoni elettroacustici, la sintesi granulare e tutto ciò che può essere ricavato dai computer.
Le sei componenti della tracklist non hanno titolo se non semplicemente il rispettivo numero progressivo, eccetto l'episodio n.6 "Eastern bells" che si sviluppa nel suono di familiari campane in differenti timbriche. In generale, procedendo nell'ascolto, si viene avvolti subito in un flusso di effetti e suoni che ci portano in un percorso fra montagne, ruscelli, caverne e cascate... ora il tutto è straordinariamente straniante, ma prestando maggiormente attenzione al linguaggio dell'artista si può apprezzare la struttura a tratti minimalista delle tracce e la raffinatissima costruzione degli effetti... le gocce che cadono... il rumore di foglie nel sottobosco... l'eco di un suono in una caverna... l'originale astrattezza di un ambiente ideale...
Dal punto di vista della sperimentazione il lavoro convince e non poco, come però, d'altro canto, è poco fruibile se non considerandolo un pervasivo suono d'ambiente... In effetti circa quarantacinque minuti di "play" continuato possono anche risultare indigesti.
Prodotto di nicchia estrema ma che, nel suo genere, è ad alto livello. Voto 8. (Roberto Celi)

www.nitestylez.de/2022/09/gintas-k-mountains-runlets-caves.html WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 07, 2022
Gintas K - Mountains, Runlets, Caves & Cascades [Gk Rec 006]
Coming in all the way from Lithuania is Gintas Kraptavicius' - a.k.a. Gintas K - new album "Mountains, Runlets, Caves & Cascades" which has been released as a limited to 100 copies CD edition on the artist run imprint Gk Rec as the labels cat.no. 006. Released on August 13th, 2k22 and originally recorded back in 2k20 the six tracks and roughly 47 minutes spanning longplayer once again sees the Lithuanian experimentalist employ his tested and proven setup of computer, midi keyboard and controller to perform a deep dive into hyperdetailed and partially hypergranular flow composition. With the opening set of tunes subsequently named "Mountains, Runlets, Caves & Cascades #1 - #5" and the additional closing tune "Eastern Bells" Gintas K provides a well minimalist view on spatial, cavernous DarkAmbient atmospheres accompanied by chiming, ever busy and moving, partially glitched out background motifs as well as sweeping filters and the occasional hard hitting, yet heavily reprocessed percussion burst, probably generated from originally field recorded sounds that bring to mind bands like Einstürzende Neubauten in their "Kollaps" phase whereas the rest of the album would rather apply to those deeply entrenched in the sounds of artists like Yves De Mey, Aleph-1, Oval, Shapednoise, Aube and other producers of partially Glitch-leaning Deep Listening Avantgarde Music of electronic origin. Good stuff. Check.

The only 'information' here are three quotes from stories by HP Lovecraft, the author of supernatural and horror fiction (and more, of course). Are we to hear the music by Gintas K as a sort of soundtrack to the stories? I know Gintas K (as in Kraptavicius) as a man of laptop music, and this new CD is no different. And yet, reading these quotes (and thinking that I should start on that Lovecraft book I bought years ago!), one is almost obliged to think of Lovecraft, and I am trying to figure out a connection. He says there are no field recordings used in the music here and that all music was played, recorded live, at once, without any overdub using a computer, midi-keyboard and controller. I don't know which software he uses on his laptop, but there is a lot to choose from these days. Max/MSP would be my best guess. I certainly believe in hearing a 'cave-like' sound. Gintas K reshapes his computerized sounds so that they sound like droplets in a cage. Sometimes they sound like bells, like rattling fences or anything one thinks of when thinking about the supernatural and horror. Sounds like slithering snakes, the howl of a monster or a grave opening at night; the unleashing of a beast out of the swamp. What Gintas K does here, and he is doing a great job as such, is to make it all sound not very computer-like. Yet, if you zoom in, you may recognize these to be computer sounds. This play with analogue/digital or real/unreal works very well and fits, for me, the Lovercraftion background of the music. Be I remember that if Gintas K had chosen H.G. Wells, I would probably have heard something about science fiction in this. And, if no such references were made, I would have applauded the abstract nature of computer music. The only downside was that Gintas K could have used a bit more imanigination when titling this pieces. Five parts of the CD's title, plus 'Eastern Bells' is, perhaps, a bit thin. (FdW)

album „Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades“
August 27, 2022 by Kevin Press
gintas k – Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades
Gintas Kraptavičius says his new album Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades reflects nature in a manner similar to the writing of American horror legend H.P. Lovecraft. “There was a lot of meaning behind Lovecraft’s descriptions of mountains and nature in general,” says the artist, who records under the name gintas k. “His descriptions were seldom shiny.”
Rather than incorporate field recordings, the new work is an entirely digital affair recorded live with no overdubs. “Conceptual explorations,” says gintas. It is a sound artist’s take on nature, as familiar as it is unsettling.
On one level, the album works as an intense electroacoustic/musique concrète experience. With more than 50 solo and collaborative releases on his resume – produced over the last two decades – gintas has earned a place among the world’s great electronic music producers. He is every bit the master over the course of these 47 new minutes.
"Electroacoustic music is like cinema for the ears".-
gintas k
Understanding his intention though, to produce a “sonic picture of nature: forest, mountains, rivers and caves,” adds valuable context. The execution is gorgeous. Among the album’s highlights is the replication of a slowly gathering thunderstorm on the album’s third piece. (At least, that’s how I hear it.)
Like much of his catalogue, the work is deeply visual.
“People tell me that a lot,” he says. “Electroacoustic music is like cinema for the ears. But I don’t think about visuals when I’m recording music.”
That comes later, says gintas. “I am honoured to have been able to work with the visual artists that I have.”
Since 2004, he has collaborated with the visual artist Donatas Juodišius-Juodo. His daughter Indra Kraptavičiūtė designed the new album’s cover.


Good new work from Gintas Kraptavicius (Gintas K), 'mountains, runlets, caves & cascades', with his unique, sparkling approach to electronics. -Brian Olewnick

gintas k – Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades
Posted: 21 August 2022 in Albums
gk. rec. – 13th August 2022
Christopher Nosnibor
Since taking control of his own release schedule – in addition to various releases via various labels – Gintas K’s output has shifted from rivulets to cascades, with this nature-themed album being just one among countless releases, live performances, exhibitions. soundtrack and compilation appearances so far this year, and, not least of all, Lėti in May, released on venerable experimental label Crónica.

There’s little explanation behind Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades, beyond a selection of quotes from HP Lovecraft and the detail that the album’s six pieces were ‘played, recorded live, at once without any overdub; using computer, midi keyboard & controller’ in 2020, and one suspects Gintas has a hard drive bursting with such recordings just waiting to be edited and mastered to form unified documents of his tireless output.

The first five pieces form the larger work that sits under the album’s overarching title, numbered one to five. They’re sparse, minimal, echo-heavy, like wandering around in a vast cavern while droplets fall into the subterranean lake that occupies the bottom, and who knows how deep it may be, how many tunnels are filled with millions of gallons of water that have run down through the ground and into this naturally-carved warren of rock-lined corridors beneath the ground.

In places, barely perceptible glimmers of sound, like bat sonar, jangle in the upper reaches of the audio spectrum. I’m reminded of the cat repellent device in my back yard, and I wonder if to some, these passages would actually appear as silence – or if for others, like my ten-year-old daughter, they would find the pitch unbearable and have to run from the room covering their ears. Quiet gurgles and trickles are the primary sounds on ‘Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades #3’ and I find myself feeling altogether calmer, picturing myself in a pine woodland with steep banks. I picture in my mind’s eye local scenery like Aysgarth Falls and Ingleton Falls and find myself at ease – but this being Gintas K, there’s disruption afoot, and blips and squelches zap in seemingly at random to remind us that this is digital art, and the fourteen-minute ‘#4’ marks the full transition into digital froth and sluices of laptop-generated foam.

And so it trickles into ‘#5’ which brings more bleeps and blips and jangling and some high-pitched rattling that for some reason makes me think of seeing footage of milk bottling plants in the 80s – back when milk came in glass bottles, and I trip on this trajectory of nostalgic reverie until the arrival oof the unsettling final track, the eight-minute ‘eastern bells’ that’s a slowed-down yawn of sound, metallic reverberations ringing out into the silence, echoing in the dark emptiness in ebbs and flows, like a conglomeration of sounds, drifting in a breeze.

Mountains, runlets, caves & cascades is a supremely abstract work, and while it’s not a huge departure for Gintas K, it does represent one of his softer, gentler, sparser and less frenetic works. It’s by no means an album to mediate to. But it is overall fairly sedate, and it not only allows, but encourages a certain quiet reflection.

Gintas K :: mountains, runlets, caves & cascades
Le silence qui précéda l'impatiente écoute et (ardente) découverte des mountains, runlets, caves & cascades de Gintas Kraptavičius, était évidement nécessaire - Nous en étions conscients, de cette même attention, de ceux qui savent que chaque pas est peut-être l'ultime. Un silence rompu comme un sombre rideau que l'on lève sur une étrange aventure. Parfum inquiétant pour celles et ceux qui auront préalablement lu les citations, de l'homme de Providence, qui étayent l'ouvrage. Solitude abscons, densité sonore anxieuse, aucun repère apparent sinon sa propre lucidité (#2) et l'écho peu rassurant de celle-ci.
Parcourir ces evanescents monstres de pierres, tortueux torrents mentaux, anfractuosités saillantes, n'est évidement pas de tout repos. Triomphant de toute autosuggestion, Gintas K fait mouche. Expressionniste mutant embrasant les esprits, se jouant avec recul et dextérité de nos frontières cérébrales, malmenant un imaginaire immédiatement mis en déroute, le lithuanien maintient, toutefois, une distance plus que raisonnable, avec son auditeur - Langage mutique. Abstraction confondante et pourtant matériellement concrète, les mountains... se fichent du "désordre des sens" que tant d'autres, aiment à vénérer. Ici, tout est bien solide, charnel, définitivement réel et les "eastern bells" qui cloturent ce magnifique ouvrage, sont bien là pour, fort savamment, en témoigner - Remarquable !

The silence that preceded the impatient listening and (ardent) discovery of the mountains, runlets, caves & cascades of Gintas Kraptavičius, was obviously necessary - We were aware of it, even of this consciousness of those who know that each step is perhaps the ultimate . A broken silence like a dark curtain that is raised on a strange adventure. Disturbing scent for those who have previously read the quotations, from the man of Providence, which support the release. Abstruse loneliness, anxious sound density, no apparent landmark except our own lucidity (#2) and the not very reassuring echo of it.
Running through these evanescent stone monsters, tortuous mental torrents, salient crevices, is obviously not easy. Triumphing over any autosuggestion, Gintas K hits the mark. Mutant expressionist igniting the spirits, playing with hindsight and dexterity of our cerebral borders, manhandling an imagination immediately put to rout, the Lithuanian maintains, however, a more than reasonable distance with his listener - Mute language. A confusing and yet materially concrete abstraction, the mountains... don't care about the "disorder of the senses" that so many others love to venerate. Here, everything is very solid, carnal, definitively real and the "eastern bells" which close this magnificent work, are there to, very cleverly, testify of it - Remarkable!
thierry massard / 15 août 2022 - 17:45


released August 13, 2022


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gintas k Lithuania

Gintas K (Gintas Kraptavičius) a sound artist, composer exploring digital, live, computer music, granular synthesis sound aesthetics. Participant of Transmediale.05, Transmediale.07, ISEA2015, ISSTA2016, IRCAM forum workshop 2017, xCoAx 2018, ICMC2018, ICMC-NYCEMF 2019, NYCEMF 2020, Ars Electronica Festival 2020. Winner of Broadcasting Art 2010, Spain; 2019 USF International Call for Scores, USA ... more


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