Exotica infused expressive, artistic electronic music by Vytautas Vilėniškis. A modest and sincere guy, both in real life and behind the decks.
#004 / Urbex
Our 4th “Urbex” instalment presents another less-known, but certainly forthcoming selector. Weevil, known for friends as Vytautas Vilėniškis, is a Panevėžys-born and Kaunas-residing record collector, who is noticeable for his original and well-digged taste of music. A modest and sincere guy he is, both in real life and behind the decks. No unnecessary drama or posing involved, just pure love for artistic electronic music and this niche local scene.
Listen to this talented mix, scoped entirely out of his own personal vinyl collection. The tracklist goes beyond the norms of danceable electronic music: full of both modern and classic gems, varying between techno and electro infused abnormalities, tribal oriented chops and experimental kicks. With respect to our beloved labels “Neubau”, “Knekelhuis”, “Berceuse Heroique” and many others. Warning: this mix is not an easy listening one, quite trance-like. Attention required.
You’re from Panevėžys, the 5th largest city in Lithuania. Even though it’s relatively not that big or active, many great local artists come from this city and it may be seen as some sort of a talent garden. How do you see the relationship between artistry and your hometown?
I can only speculate, because every persona has a different story, as we all know. It could be surroundings, as in my case – growing up in a neighbourhood, there were a lot of bandits at that time in the wild nineties and beginning of 00s, so you kind of want to be isolated from them at some point, and you need an activity, because you’d get bored. Like-minded people who, in the case of my town, almost every one of the (so-called) alternative youth used to gather at the city centre and share views and inspirations on this and that, and just hang out, trying to squeeze out something interesting to happen in a relatively small city, as you said. But this can be only one reason of many.
You’ve managed to record this digged-out tracklist entirely from vinyls. What’s your relationship with physical formats in this increasingly digital world?
I just love vinyl records and cassettes. When you play them they actually move! But I don’t have anything against digital because high quality files sound great as well.
There’s no significant affiliation with your name: no DJ or promoter team of any sort. Where do you come from and how it evolved into being a memorable selector?
About the name – it came out when I was thinking of a nickname when creating my Soundcloud profile back in 2010, and wanted something to refer to my actual name and surname, but with an English pronunciation. So Wee- stands for Vy- and –vil for Vil-, the first letters of my name and last name. And there actually is an electronic music label called “Weevil Neighbourhood” which I discovered just after a few years of digging, but did not want to change my nickname because to me it means myself. This selecting thing I think is intuition, imagination, dreaming, surprise, no prejudices or chasing trends, staying true to yourself and what you really feel you like.
Is there some goal career-wise that you strive for as a DJ, or would you rather maintain the subtle position as a local underground figure?
I love to play when I have an opportunity, though I don’t want to participate in what I would call random occasions. I have no thoughts about a career, as in my opinion, it happens naturally if it happens. At first I started to collect records with no intention to play them out loud, but one day my friends convinced me to participate at their party in Vilnius, I enjoyed it and wanted more.
Weevils are beetles of some sort. Why do you see yourself as a bug?
Haha, never heard about this meaning before. I thought I created the word myself and the Lithuanian translation is even more funny!
Your tracklist suggests you’re a true digger. What’s your usual routine while searching for new and exciting music?
Sitting in front of a PC with coffee or tea listening, checking like most people I think.
It’s hard to talk about your taste. How would you describe your style, which seems to vary between techno, tribal, electro, industrial and many other genres? What aspects do you prefer in music?
It is hard to describe it for me as well so I’ll leave it like this. The aspects of my taste are that it just has to be good music with no compromises and which makes me feel some types of emotion.
A friend from the Digital Tsunami crew once said about you: “I’ve seen this guy stir up a hell of a dance party, so I don’t know what to expect from him”. Which do you rather consider yourself – a selector for relaxed listening, or one to blow the roof off a dancefloor?
That was a nice party! Liked the location a lot, metal heads bar! I think I can adjust to both of those you mentioned, therefore I constantly look for various sounds.
What labels, musicians, podcasts or any others would you name as prime influences throughout all these years?
There are way too many. I will mention only one and the strongest experience I remember: it was seeing and listening when Traxx played in Vilnius’ “Kablys” club 3-4 years back and it totally blew my mind!
While not behind the decks, you can be quite frequently spotted as a listener in local musical events or parties, at least in Kaunas. Anything that you would like to single out or particularly appreciate from the happenings here?
In Kaunas – Digital Tsunami, 4$HO’s “Kaleidoskopas” and Ghia events now. In the past I used to enjoy “Centras” festival which is now not active anymore, but maybe will come back sometime with an interesting program. “Detroitsh*t” is worth mentioning too. Also, there always have been and always will be some interesting singular one-off happenings instead of extended event series.
By Viktoras Urbaitis and Algirdas Šapoka.
- Don’t DJ – Rag For Rudolf Rocker [BAKK, 2018]
- Muslimgauze – Zebra Slaughter [Vinyl On Demand, 1985]
- Voices From The Lake – In Giova (Alternative Mix) [Prologue, 2012]
- Marcos Cabral – Repaired Clocks [L.I.E.S., 2013]
- Rex Ilusivii – Forced March [Versatile, 1990]
- TM404 – Don’t Defend Mascot [Kontra-Musik 2016]
- Felix Kubin – Uhren [Editions Mego, 2017]
- Muslimgauze – The Divine Cause [Vinyl On Demand, 1987]
- Zov Zov – The Souls [Berceuse Heroique, 2017]
- Powell – Teddy [Diagonal, 2017]
- Jay Glass Dubs – Depression Dub [Ecstatic, 2017]
- Gil.Barte – Myaso [Neubau, 2018]
- Maoupa Mazzocchetti – 644 Beauty Marks [Knekelhuis, 2018]
- Suba – Wayang 5 [Offen Music, 1995]
- Hypnobeat – Donna’s Gift #2 [Dark Entries/Serendip-Lab, 1986]
- Powell – Beat [Liberation Technologies, 2013]
- Tolouse Low Trax – In Quicksilver [Themes For Great Cities, 2016]
- As Longitude – That’s When Animals Turned Into Humans (feat. Paul Arambula) [Macadam Mambo, 2018]
- Nisennenmondai – B-1 [Bijin Record/Blast First Petite, 2015]
- Muslimgauze – Dissidents [Vinyl On Demand, 1983]
- Bourbonese Qualk – Suburb City [Mannequin, 1986]
- Group A – Alibi [Mannequin, 2017]
- Black Merlin – Agro [Berceuse Heroique, 2018]
- Charles Manier – Wasps [Nation, 2013]