Rolands Cibulskis is a Latvian artist and songwriter with an extensive background in theatre acting and a current role in social care. This eclectic journey has led to a musical catalogue that is loaded with individuality and a sort of carefree, fun-loving approach to artistic expression. His latest three releases vary in substance but showcase this distinct thread of character that becomes quickly recognisable as the Rolands Cibulskis sound.
Jumalo Low is a sort of down-tempo electronic rock offering, displaying minimalist musicality built into a structure that follows a familiar riding bass line and central idea or hook melody that repeats in an EDM-like manner. The personality of the artist comes through in the leading voice, in the creatively free set-up of the music, and indeed in the accompanying video. As the track progresses, a dash of piano and distorted, retro synths help brighten up the outer edges and give off a sense of progression. By this point, the rhythm and the generally unusual nature of the song appear as quite hypnotic. I was reminded just slightly of the raw energy of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You days.
Spirit Snowman is an entirely different piece of music and writing, though again that minimalist set-up thrives here – even more-so actually. You get a touch of the Bjork-style spaciousness, within which a few select instruments make up the rhythm and colour of the music; including and being primarily driven by the artist’s raw, unaffected leading voice.
There’s something quite entrancing and mildly unsettling about the progression of the song at first, those moments without the beat really draw your focus to the two voices running alongside of each other – the echo effect, the up close and personal performance style – though when the instrumentation returns, it brings with it a familiar sense of comfort. The song begins to feel like something of a tribal chant. Despite the language barrier present for some listeners, you begin to notice certain repeated lines, so the song develops its own unexpected level of catchiness.
Tu Mana Meitene is the third of the recent releases, a singe available to download via iTunes. This track has a brilliant sense of rhythm, the thick and relentless beat is gently hypnotic, the distant piano flickering in the background contrasts well with this, and on top of everything is the leading artist’s voice – a rap flow in this case, but with a distinctive yet mildly melodic hook that quickly makes certain you’ll remember it. The accompanying video here adds a lot more to your image or understanding of the creative behind the music. As things move along, the rhythm of the song really grows more and more appealing – those thoughts of tribal routines or chanting return; in this case the moment is quite addictive and really interesting to witness.
Cibulskis’ flow here is quite intense – barely pausing for breath, he makes his way through the track, keeping the pace on point and managing to entertain and even mesmerize – despite, once again, any slight language barriers (you can gather a sense of subject matter with a quick Google translate). When all is said and done, the music leaves you feeling as if you really went through something new, and the video leaves you wanting to go roam around in the outdoors for a while. A job well done.
Rolands Cibulskis is an artist doing his own thing entirely, producing music that is unique, decidedly original, free-flowing, and quite striking. Find & follow him on Twitter & Soundcloud to stay updated. Subscribe for more videos over on YouTube.