Like many Americans, I have to plead ignorance when it comes to Lithuania. I’m not that familiar with the history or culture. I’m even less familiar with the music of the region. However, this compilation gives me a reason to be excited for Lithuania as a creative space. I might not know much now, but I hope to change that in the future.

First, the bad news: There was a volume one that I slept on last year. The good news, though, is that I am very much aware of volume two and will be going back and filling in the gap when I’m done listening to this one. This collection is a showcase of beat makers from Lithuania and surrounding areas, providing us with a great array of down tempo instrumental hip hop. Nineteen tracks might seem a little too long at first, but since this material is all new to me (as I suspect it will be to most stateside listeners) and there’s not really any bad material to cut, I’m okay with the length. As far as the material goes, it doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but I think of this album as more of a gateway than a statement record. They’re not trying to re-invent the wheel here; they’re trying to expose a stable of artists to the world, and on that level I think they succeed. Some of my personal favorites include “Push It Away” by Eazee, which makes great use of a sample from “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, Mark Splinter’s “King Solomon,” which features a funky video game groove, and Gen Bo’s “Sloppy Bro (pt. 1),” which takes elements from Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, Diplo, and sprinkles in some G-Funk, and gives us a menacing funky 8-bit-sampling treat. “Heartbeat (I Need You)” by Napo has a great early ‘90s dance track quality to it. I could go on, but we’d be here a while.

Hopefully, this album will serve the same function for you as it did for me, and will get you excited about a group of musicians with whom you are unfamiliar. I know I will be digging and learning about many of the artists in the future, and will not sleep on a third volume if one is released.