Armed With Techno, Vilnius DJs Are Taking On The Worlds Autocrats


It's one of the most left-wing releases of the year, but Sound of Freedom, a talk album by dictators, is a contemporary stand against propaganda and censorship.

Antidote Society, electronic music producers and independent DJs from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania and home to a rich and vibrant electronic music scene, created an electronic music album to challenge the world's dictators.

Entitled The Voice of Freedom , the record combines songs from various dictators with a techno beat that they have used over the years to protest against anti-democratic regimes.

Antidote project head Edmundas Puchkorius says the album is a testament to the community's belief in the transformative power of electronic culture and music in particular.

Electronic music and rave have been used as forms of protest and national unity since the beginning of the Russian occupation of Ukraine, including for the reconstruction of destroyed areas and the celebration of the country's independence in Vilnius.

"For the first time since 2004, there are more authoritarian countries than democracies in the world. Dictatorships are trapped in an information trap of propaganda, censorship and false narratives."

"In The Voice of Freedom, seven musicians confront these dictators in order to use their lyrics to send a message of hope and freedom - a decision that will no doubt lead to the banning of recordings in dictatorial regimes."

The album and its cover were unveiled this week at Vilnius Open Air, the city's unique New Town outdoor art fair.

The work, titled The Ultimate Dictator , was created using artificial intelligence to combine the faces of 40 dictators.

The face of evil

"We wanted to identify the face of evil. To do this, we ranked countries using data from some independent indicators of freedom and democracy. Forty countries with the worst results were selected. Then, using a visual AI tool, we changed the face of these dictators to find the new dictator, which is art. It served as a basis for creating jobs,” said Bochkorios.

A portrait of Pius Tchaikovsky rises from the brick wall, evoking images of George Orwell's older brother from his dystopia novel 1984 .

The image is covered with unmarked yellow areas, which means that the opposition is distorting the images of the autocratic rulers and must act quickly to avoid detection.

Presented as part of Loftus Festival '22, this new addition to the outdoor gallery is a wide-ranging exhibition of art installations by many different musicians and set in a converted factory and industrial environment.

Loftas is the largest street art gallery in Vilnius, which is regularly updated with new artworks from world-renowned muralists.

Sound of Freedom can be streamed on Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

Photo: Edmundas Puchkorius

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