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Monthly Archives: September 2009

This is the Moist Device

Six Days (don’t make a week) / Youth Can Never Die” was the only release of the short lived Athenian band Moist Device.

It was a 7” single released in 500 copies, through the indie record label “Enigma” (same label released the Ex Humans album as well as the punk rock compilation “Diataraxi Kinis Isyxias”).

The band was formed in 1985 by singer/guitar player Giannis Kostovasilis, bass player Giorgos Pipinis, keyboard player Giorgos Drakopoulos, drummer Stefanos Larentzakis and sax player Tasos Katsaris.

(Drakopoulos and Larentzakis were former members of the band “Horis Peridereo” who had a couple of releases).

Thanks to their well structured songs and great stage performance, they soon managed to gain the attention of the underground audience but they split after the release of the single.

Pipinis followed Drakopoulos to the band  “Venericna Bolest” but one can also find Drakopoulos in the line up of the punk rock band “Genia tou Chaous”.

Kotsaris joined “Libido Blume” and Larentzakis joined for a while the band “Koubotripes A.E.

You can find the band on MySpace here.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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Days Of Future Passed vol. 8

Every time I listen to these bands I feel like I was too naive back then.

I guess we were all a little naive…

The planet was always spinning on dirty money but back in those days we weren’t aware of that.  It’s been a long time since I last posted something from the Opticoacoustic Bomb, the VHS compilation that was released in the early 90’s.

I found another interesting vid on YouTube, with a little Villa 21 in the beginning (you can also watch them here) and two songs of the post-punk band Ypogia Trohia.

You can read about them here.

So, if you wanna watch Ypogia Trohia, be a little patient and watch them playing live somewhere in the very early 90’s.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Days Of Future Passed

 

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Interstellar Overdrive

The Athenians, Interstellar Overdrive, were formed in 1998 and succeeded in winning first prize in the 1999 “Battle of the Bands”, which later resulted in their debut album in 2000.  Their line up on this release, which was titled with the band’s name, was: Orestis Karamanlis – vocals, guitars, Dr. Aris – bass, Artemis Bogri – vocals, Aris Oikonomou – guitar, Grigotis Kokkinos – drums, Dimos Bourandas – violin.  Dimitris Ioannou, of the band Bocomolech, appeared in the song “In the Cyrcle”. 

“Interstellar Overdrive”, which was produced by George Priniotakis, carried the essence of the darkest sounds of the 80’s, along with a flavor of the decade that followed.  With one foot on melancholic gothic rock (Bogri’s voice reminds me of All About Eve’s Julian Reagan sometimes) and the other foot on the late 90’s, the album spun off spreading a very interesting light in the listener’s room.

The tracklist:

1. In the Cyrcle

2. Nine Eyes

3. Its golden light

4. Flattered

5. Shade

6. And I weep

7. Derelict

8. I won’t follow

9. Hide your love 

After several line-up changes, two years later they released their second album, titled “Surface b” which dealt mostly with indie and post rock soundscapes.  Orestis Karamanlis, Dr. Aris and a new drummer, Alex Sakelariou, built a dreamy, melancholic atmosphere. Pepy Kosma took over the vocals (Artemis Bogri appeared as a guest), and again many guests made an appearance here: Dimitris Ioannou on the track “Every Day”, Manolis Angelakis (from the band Illegal Operation) on “When Time’s Passed”, Akis Bogiatzis on “Pulse”, and Noam Chomsky’s voice was used with his permission.

 

1. The tracklist:

2. Istrumental idea #1

3. Pulse

4. Every Day

5. & time melting me

6. Music for the trees

7. Music for a motion picture

8. Breeze

9. Monster

10.The feast

11.Pulse #2 (tube remix) 

A number of compilation participations followed and the band also started writing music for the exhibitions of several painters.  Last I heard, they were about to release a third album titled “Hibernation” during 2008, but, unfortunately, I have no information about this release…

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2009 in Goth, etc., New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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J. Kriste, Master of Disguise – Girls, Ghosts and Gods

album coverTo be honest, somebody told me that this is a neo-folk album, so I expected to listen to something close to Current 93 or Death in June but he was wrong.

This album was released in Cyprus on May 20 2008 and now is coming out in the Greek market also.

This is not a neo-folk album but an avant-garde one.

Treesong”, the opening track is a mixture of English folk music and prog rock.

There is a strong flavor of King Crimson, Jethro Tull and some early Genesis put in it.

Acoustic guitars, mandolin, violins and cello player Yiorgos Kaloudis, create an unexpected pagan atmosphere.

A ballad follows by the title “This stream”.

For sure now, the listener is diving in a melancholic ocean that J. Kriste (aka Lefteris Moumtzis) is creating with his songs.

Ruth Hill’s kanun is building up the Middle Eastern atmosphere of the great “Queen of the Moon

Well known Greek musicians are participating in this album, like Manolis Famellos who is playing the mandolin on the dreamy track “Mariposita”, Alkinoos Ioannidis who is playing soprano, alto, tenor, bass, contrabass, lute on the psychedelic track “Prayer” and “Duke (Great Ungiver)”.

I have to admit that I fell in love with one song of this album.

It’s the track “Pretty Young Thing” which has a touch of Nine Inch Nails when it starts which evolves into some kind of early 70’s bluesy tune (with an ala Robert Fripp guitar solo…).

Singer and founding member of London based band “Masters of Disguise”, Lefteris Moumtzis, returned to Cyprus during last year, to record this 12 track album that will be highly appreciated by the fans of prog and psychedelic rock.

I have to add here one more thing: great artwork.

The tracklist

  1. Treesong
  2. This stream
  3. Queen of the Moon
  4. Young Girl
  5. Mother Dear
  6. Pretty Young Thing
  7. Interlude
  8. Mariposita
  9. Duke (Great Ungiver)
  10. Keeper of Joy
  11. Prayer
  12. Godly Gift
 
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Posted by on September 25, 2009 in Prog-rock

 

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Top 10 of drugs not to do while driving a car

I found that video too funny so I thought of sharing it with you.

Enjoy.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Comedy

 

Nexus: Evolution/Revolution

By the late ‘90’s/early 00’s a lot of things would change in the Greek rock scene.  Most of the major record labels saw that there was a big audience for Greek rock bands.  In part, this was due to the huge amount of CD copies that the Greek band Trypes sold, as well as other Greek-lyric rock bands, and labels started signing and releasing anything.  Good bands, mediocre bands, or bad bands, it didn’t matter. 

The Greek major radio stations included Greek rock bands on their programs and slowly the underground scene started fading away.  In the years that followed, the interest of the audience started fading away too.  Hip-hop bands also made their way into the mainstream sound, but that’s another story.

In the very late 90’s there were almost no fanzines around, except maybe “In Rock”, as far as I can recall.  There were very few independent rock radio shows remaining, except for an Athenian radio station which was almost “rock”.  This station founded a record label and promoted it’s releases through it’s own radio shows.

That was the situation during 2000, when Nexus released their first album.

Rumor has it that their singer, Mike Pougounas, managed to break his contract with FM Records after the record label rejected the band’s new material following the release of “Nexus” EP.  So, while his former band, The Flowers Of Romance, remained assigned to FM Records (they released one album for this label while Pougounas was with them), their singer went on to found his own record label, Cyberdelia Records.

Strouggaris, Pougounas, Stevis, SpanosThere was one change in the band’s line up since the release of the “Nexus” EP .  Guitar player Lefteris Strouggaris and bass player Costas Spanos, maintained their positions in the band but Dimitris “Sidheog” Stevis (former member of the Drops) replaced drummer Vangelis Papachristopoulos.  The new album was engineered by Irene Symeonidou and produced by Pougounas and Strouggaris.  It would remain the first and last Nexus album with Greek lyrics.

The day the album, simply titled “6”, was released, Nexus supported their old friends, The Mission, in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.  (A couple of years later, Pougounas’ record label, Cyberdelia Records, would release The Mission’s album, “Aura”, for Greece and Cyprus.)  Well … in Athens, the sound engineers spent too much time fixing their own mistakes in the sound system connections.  The people in charge asked the Greek band to play without a sound check, and Nexus refused to take the stage.  In Thessaloniki, everything went smoothly and Nexus opened for The Mission, performing songs from the album “6”, as well as material from The Flowers Of Romance..

The band went on a string of nationwide gigs to promote the new release of “6”, and probably became the first Greek band to use loops and pre-recorded industrial sounds on stage.

It is difficult to pigeonhole “6”.  Distorted beats, cold industrial down-tempo songs which change to fast paced rhythms with aggressive guitars and gloomy electronica soundscapes, combined with Greek lyrics made it sound completely different from any other Greek rock release.  All and all, “6” remained a very “dark” album.

Bridging the dark wave sound of “I Teleftea Prospathia” (eng. The Last Try ελλ. Η Τελευταία Προσπάθεια) with the Apollo 440/Joy Division-ish style of “Afinontas Piso To Melon” (engl. Leaving the Future Behind ελλ. Αφήνοντας Πίσω Το Μέλλον), or shocking the listener with the drum’n’bass verse that followed the industrial intro of the opening track “Stin Agkalia Τou Sympantos” (engl. Lap of the Universe ελλ. Στην Αγκαλιά Του Σύμπαντος), this album was really weird for a Greek band.

The tracklist:

1. Στην Αγκαλιά του Σύμπαντος (Lap of the Universe)
2. Ύπνωση (Hypnosis)
3. Η Τελευταία Προσπάθεια (The Last Try)
4. Αφήνοντας Πίσω Το Μέλλον (Leaving the Future Behind)
5. Όσο Θα Υπάρχει ο Κόσμος (As Long As the World Will Exist)
6. Μαγική Νύχτα (Magic Night)
7. Ο Παράδεισος Μπορεί Να Περιμένει (Heaven Can Wait)
8. Ξανά  (Again)
9. Μια Μέρα Δίχως Σύννεφα (A Day with No Clouds)
10. Το Πάρτυ Της Μοναξιάς (The Party of Loneliness)
11. 3 Μόνο Λεπτά (Just 3 Minutes)
12. Το Τραγούδι Των Χρωμάτων (Color Song)


6 cover“6” found it’s way to the 20 best albums for the year 2000 according to some Greek mags.  It received some radio airplay and proved to the band that it would be very difficult to find distribution abroad if they carried on using Greek lyrics.  So, after that, half of the songs were used on their next album which had English lyrics.

It was released 6 months later under the title “Cybernaut” and for the first time, would get the band over the Greek borders.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2009 in Goth, etc.

 

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The sound of Adis

I discovered these three videos of the Greek band Αδης (Adis).

All three tracks are coming from their debut album released during 2001.

Read here for more.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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September & Common Party – live September 12 2009

Common PartyLast night we had the good fortune to attend the gig of the Greek band September.

The gig was held at “After Dark” live club, right in the centre of Athens, at Exarchia district.  The evening had two different musical aspects.

The opening act was a very promising Greek post-punk band going by the name Common Party.

Common Party is a three piece act formed in 2006, which is influenced by bands such as Joy Division, Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Christian Death as well as others.

They played their own well-crafted tracks, and I‘ve listed here a couple of titles that I especially remember, “Insomnia”, “Young and Beautiful”.  They also played two covers, “Hurt” by NIN ala Johnny Cash and “Temple of Love” by the Sisters of Mercy.

This trio’s members are: singer/bass player Michalis, guitar player Pantelis and drummer Vangelis.

They haven’t released a CD yet but we hope they have something out soon cause it’s a great band and everybody in the audience liked them a lot.

We found the following video on YouTube which has nothing to do with yesterday’s performance but will give you an idea about the band..

For those of you that want to drop them a line or listen to their stuff, visit their MySpace profile here.

Common Party were on stage for about an hour and after a short break, September took over.

This is a five piece act that initially started as a Greek lyric band by the name “Etsi Ki Allios”and released a nine track CD in 1999 and shortly thereafter transformed themselves into an English lyric prog-rock band with the name September.

In 2002 they released the album “2 smiles ago” with the line up Sotiris Pomonis – guitars, Loukas Panourgias – vocals, Theo Botinis – bass, Giannis Dimoulas – drums/vocals, Renos Miliaris – keyboards/piano.

The following is the video from their hit song, “Guns for Lovin’”, from the “2 smiles ago” CD, with the band’s original line up:

Each one of these musicians comes with a great musical background..

Pomonis studied jazz improvisation and then studied at the “Musicians Institute of London”.  Upon Sotiris’ return to Hellas, his former band, “Etsi Ki Allios” reunited.  During this same period, he began teaching at several music schools and also worked as a session musician with many “major artists” of Greece.  Sotiris currently teaches at the “Conservatory of Musical Praxis”, is a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors.

Botinis was a member of the bandsThe Flowers Of Romance, “Make My Day” and “The Down Town Beat” which gave him the reputation of a real “Groove Maker”. 

Teaming up for a songwriting duet with Stavros Mouflouzelis, they released three instrumental CDs under the name “Les Ombres”, and experimented with New Age, Acid, and Ethnic music.  Theo joined September in 1998.  He recently joined the Conservatory of Musical Praxis and is a member of the “Registry of Guitar Tutors”.

Dimoulas joined September in 2002 and has played with several Greek artists. For the past three years he’s a member of the flamenco group Flamenco Aire, which is perhaps the only one in Greece. He is currently teaching drums at the Municipal Music School of Ag. Barbara. He is an active participant of Baiyuan Tongbei Quan, which is one of the more obscure and eclectic styles of Northern Chinese boxing.

Miliaris, who joined the band in 1996, holds a degree in Music Harmony and Counterpoint and has attended several seminars in France on Live Performance of Modern Piano and Conduction of Music Ensembles.  He also works with other Greek artists and teaches piano and music theory at the “Conservatory of Musical Praxis”. 

Between the release of “2 smiles ago” and yesterday’s gig, Dimitris Koskinas replaced Loukas Panourgias on vocals and brought an exceptional and raw change, as well as adding one more guitar in the band’s arsenal.

Koskinas works as a Choir teacher at “School of Musical Praxis” as well as in many other Choirs in the Athens region.

September - Live @ After Dark Sept. 12 2009It is obvious from the band members’ bios, that a high quality performance took place in front of our eyes.

The high energy stage performance of Koskinas and Pomonis was clearly evident with each one playing side by side, edging the other into a more powerful explosion of sound and passion.

Bass and drums were vibrant with the beat pounding within you while the keyboards were breathing a dreamy atmosphere into the songs.

 They played tracks from the already released CD, like “Guns for Lovin’”, “Sirens”, “Another But” as well as new tracks from their forthcoming new CD and a cover of Pink Floyd’s, “Comfortably Numb”.

You can visit their MySpace profile here or their official site.

So the night was amazing and the interaction from the bands with audience left everyone feeling that the night should have continued longer.

Unfortunately as with all good things an end must be made and we leave you with the links to the bands.

                                                                          (Thanks for the photos Bellybutton Man)

 

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