Kontrabanda (once also known as Rokfeleriai), fronted by the well-known Lithuanian poet Gintaras Grajauskas on vocals and bass, is a phenomenon in its own right in Lithuania's only port-town Klaipėda. The band’s suggestive name and somewhat underground stance leads one to assume that its infectious blues-rock and Latin funk grooves were illegally smuggled on some ship. Although only one of the band’s five albums is properly released, Kontrabanda enjoys something of a cult following, especially among the bohemian youth of its hometown, much of it owing to Grajauskas’ wittily inventive and literate singing-rapping, as well as the masterful bluesy guitar solos supplied in plentiful quantities by Vilius Ančeris. In 2008, Kontrabanda became one of the first Lithuanian bands to take advantage of their fanbase’s support and opportunities offered by the Internet, when they released their new live release (A)Live, which could be pre-ordered by the fans.
Cinkas - Paliaubos
Teroras - Terorozauro bliuzas
Cinkas - Fanki panki
Cinkas - Varge varge, vajė vajė
Cinkas - Reptilijų grūvas
Blūdas - Tavo lūpos
Puse lūpų - Mano dainos
„Kontrabanda“ (“Contraband”) is one of the most mysterious and unpredictable bands in Lithuania. It was formed in 1990. Since 1993 it recorded five albums, but only one of them („Blūdas“ – “The Rampage; 1995, M.E.G.A. Records) was released 'legally'. All the other albums were released in small quantities by unofficial underground record companies – it came out later that none these businesses actually existed (Old Bones Records and others).
The geography of the band’s concerts is also unusual – from the Gothenburg Poetry Festival to Sommerfest of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin, from the semi-legal concerts in tiny villages of Lithuania, to the concert of Jim Hendrix jubilee in Moscow. And if you add that from 2002 the band was called “Rokfeleriai” (in Lithuanian – “Rokfeleriai”, but by no way “The Rockefellers”) and came back to its old name in 2006, the first album of this group ends with monologue from Peter Handke’s play "Publikumsbeschimpfung", and famous Lithuanian poet – Gintaras Grajauskas – sings, plays bass guitar and writes lyrics for this band, you will understand that it has kind of shade of Fluxus…
It would be hard to describe the music of this group in one or two words. All the band's albums differ strongly one from the other, and the most proper term to describe band's music would be fusion or postmodern, if you like. The first three albums of the group might be called rhythm&blues or maybe simply blues-rock, which was widely played in Eastern Europe and modified in Lithuanian style, spiced with frippic (Robert Fripp, King Crimson) guitar, the latter played by one of the most professional Lithuanian guitarists Vilius Ančeris. The rest of the albums, released under the name of “Rokfeleriai”, are more oriented towards bossa-nova, latino and funky music. All these colours are blended by the original texts of Gintaras Grajauskas, sang only in Lithuanian. For the international listener the band has a special fusion - poetry program with translation of the texts projected on the screen. The project was successfully presented during the Gotheburg Poetry Festival. (GK)