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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Finding Stylianos Tsiritas

It was propably about five or six years ago when I was paying a visit to a friend of mine.
While we were having a coffee he took a look at his watch and said “damn, I am so late.
“I am going to a gig tonight”.
I asked him, what is all about.
He told me its about “a  Japanese band called Soto.”
I said I never heared of them and he replied that it is a noise/experimental Japanese band that
is always performing live wearing ceremonial masks.
“The rumor has it”  he said,  “they are members of the national Olympic team of Japan or Japanese embassadors…”

The news were all around Athens.
“Soto will play live at the Small Music Theater club…”
People were sending this message to each other by sms.

That night, the club was full of people.
Soto CDrs were sold at the entrance like hot chocolate coockies.
The band went on stage (always wearing their ceremonial masks) and performed their best noise stuff…
The audience went crazy.
They found it superb.

When the played their last tune of the playlist, they surprised everyone by taking off their masks.
That wasn’t any japanese band.
That was Stylianos Tsiritas and his band, Kopsokefali (engl. Cut heads ελλ. κοψωκέφαλοι).

Well, the prankster, Tsiritas, is a well known musician of the Greek underground.
He stated that he did it to show to the audience that “they attend to any foreign band without having a clue
about the band but they would never attend to a Greek band’s gig”.
I found it amazingly clever.
It was true and it was funny…

Stylianos Tsiritas

Stylianos Tsiritas

Tsiritas released a solo CD album titled “Ktiriologia” that would easily fit within your record collection next to a Nurse With Wound or some Residents’s album.
His band, Kopsokefali, supported (a real Japanese band this time…) Acid Mothers Temple in Athens.
Kopsokefali released a DIY CD full of noise/experimental avant garde rock’n’roll.
Members of this band were also members of the bands Postblue and Bayouda.

Tsiritas was also responsible for the compilation Civil Cinder Regalia – the AKOI series
where he participated with an other project of his, Trypanosoma.

Trypanosoma

Trypanosoma

Trypanosoma was actualy a duet, Stylianos Tsiritas and former member of Kopsokefali, Makis Papasimakopoulos. They were formed in 2004 and were influenced by Alan Vega.
By the same year, they supported Lydia Lunch in Athens.

Here is a video taken from a Party at the small music theatre- last season jam .2/07/08. The following musicians are performing: Anastasis Grivas (Owner of the club), Nikos Veliotis, Coti K, Thanos (Lost Bodies),
Celina Lage, Ilan Manouach, Meca-Orga, Stelios Tziritas and Joe Turnabene.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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This Slow Motion

This...

This...

Today, I was listening to “Die Siele” which is a classic Slow Motion track (and a classic for the Greek goth scene).
Slow Motion was an Athenian act that singer/keyboard player Thodoros Samoladas formed in 1985 and is still active today.
Many of his friends and schoolmates remember him having his first gigs in the living room of his house in Nea Smyrni,
that he had turned into a personal stage for his live performances.

Slow Motion – Dragging anchors (Live 1987)

During the years many musicians joined the band.
Bass players Teo Botinis and Giannis Barouxis, the drummers George Fotis and (ex-Parthenogennesis member) Albert Levis
and a long list of even more people that had the pleasure to contribute in Samoladas’s
musical expression.

Exponential Symphony...

Exponential Symphony...

The rumor has it, that Samoladas, who is a professional airplane pilot, is usualy flying to
some small isolated Greek island to write his music.

Videos of strange ceremonial land, sea and sky matings have been presented in some festivals
where the band played live.

Fire and water, darkness and light.
This is the gothic atmosphere of Slow Motion’s that use both english and German lyrics.
A unique musical style that first came out on their debut album, simply titled “This”.
Since 1988 when this album came out, “Die Siele” remains a classic goth track to the Greek
dancefloors of this genre.
Viaticum

Viaticum

Their second album, “Viaticum”, was released in 1992.
The songs are in the same spirit of the first one.
Slow Motion very rarely perform live but they have a number of devoted followers and
it is a pity that this band is not widely known over the Greek borders.

Samoladas’s voice covers a vast range of notes creating tense with the sound and the
mystic atmosphere of candle lights during their concerts.

Blind Transmissions

Blind Transmissions

They participated with one of their tracks to the compilation “Crash” that was released
in 1993 by Elfish records and during 1998 their 3rd full length album
came out, titled “Blind transmissions”.

During 2001 the album ‘An Exponential Symphony In An Entity That Wasn’t’ was released, in the same
neoclassical, electronic style.

For more sound, click here.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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For Girls about to rock…

Lots and lots of girls were involved in the Greek rock scene during the 80s and 90s.
I will try to list here mostly the girls that played with punk, alternative, and new wave bands
cause if I include metal bands I will be fooled as this is not my specialty.

Now, lets go:
In 1989, the drummer Vivi Vourou and bass player Georgia Athanasiou formed a hard alternative band called Stigma 90.
It was a 5 piece band and only one member was male.
They released one album in 1994 with this line up.
Today their line up has change and Vivi Dourou remains the only girl in the band that released one more
album in 2006.
Stigma 90 – O dromos (1994)

Angela Markopoulou was the singer of Sonar Blips.
She was singing for 3 years and released one album with this band.

Angela Markopoulou

Angela Markopoulou

More here.

Evi watson Hasapidou started singing with the band No Man’s Land when she was 19.
When she left the band she formed the group Echo Tattoo.
She also did additional vocals for album releases of the bands Symmoria, Purple Overdose
and The Flowers Of Romance.
She is still active with Echo Tattoo.
More here.

Chryssa Pantazi from Thessaloniki started playing the bass for the

Chryssa Pantazi

Chryssa Pantazi

band  Yeah!
Her first gig was on March 1987 and she also did some vocals for the album  of the band Symmoria.
Her comments on this blog of ours are of great help.

Vicky was singing for the psychedelic band Jack Of All Trades who released two albums.
Members of this band released one more album in 1995 when they formed the short lived
group Chameleon Selligg.

Klimentini Dede formed the band Allothi in 1988. They started  supporting Pavlos Sidiropoulos and in 1989 bassist Bessy joined the band.

Vicky

Vicky

 
Allothi released the album “Nomizo pos zo” (engl. I think I live ελλ. Νομίζω πως ζω) in 1996 and participated in a number of compilations.
The band is still active today but only Klimentini is in the line up.

Ada and Kerasia

Ada and Kerasia

Petunia Pig started in the early 80’s as an all girls band from the city of Patras and by the early 90’s there
were only two girls left, bass player Ada and singer Kerasia.
As far as I know they participated only in one of the Fragmenta series.

Guitar player Ada Lambara formed the band Villa 21 along with singer/guitar player
and former member of Parthenogenesis, Costas Pothulakis.
She later joined an all girl band called Nonmandol.
The rest of the members were: singer/bass player Roula Mamali, Guitar player Maria Evangelatou,
replaced by Anna Athineou, Eva Kolomvou on the drums.
Maria Kontarellou, Former member of the band Vice Versa, was the main singer of Nonmandol since 1995.
Nonmandol released one 7″ single.

Nonmandol live September 7 1993

Natasha Syreggela and Elle were members of the band Forward Music

Natasha

Natasha

Quintet (F.M.Q.).
With this band, Natasha released 2 LPs one mini LP and one 12″ EP.

Dina was member of the h/c punk band Kinonika Apovlita.

Vana Grammeniati from the city of Ioannina was the singer/keyborad player of the band Psygeio-Psygeio.
She released two full length albums with the band.

The velvet voice Tatiana Stavroulaki, singer of the band Common Sense, was
one of the reasons why the band became one of the faves of the Greek radio stations.
Tatiana also sung a couple of songs with the american band Savage Republic a couple of years
ago.

Sonya and Vaggelis formed the anarcho-punk band Naftia in Thessaloniki.

Vana Grammeniati

Vana Grammeniati

Dora Antoniadi was member of the band Psycho.
Click here for more.

Maria Gabriela Loukaki was the singer of the band Film Noir on their first album.
More infos here.

Katerina Moustaka was the keyboard player of the band Mora Sti Fotia.
The band received a cult status during the 90’s.

New Rose had a lady playing the bass going around by the nickname Pussycat.
They participated in the compilation “Wipe Out presents 12 raw Greek bands” in 1988.

Laura Ginni joined The Flowers Of Romance on the keyborads during 1993-1995.
She later joined the band Avaton.

Flora Ioannidi was singing with the band Make Believe and released three albums and one single during the 90’s.
Make Believe – Last impression

Thalia Ioannidou was member of the band Horror Vacui that released a 10″ album.

Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the singer of Bella Union.
A four piece group that was fronted by a girl.
They released a single titled “Low” and an album titled “mother”.

Elisabeth was the singer of En Garde, a gothic metal band that released two albums under foreign labels in the mid 90’s.

This is as much as my mind helps me.
Anyone that can add more ladies that participated in the underground rock scene during the 80s and 90s
is most welcome.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2009 in Music

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. VII

I took the Yeah ! poster from Hryssa Pantazi’s blog, Here Comes A Sun.

I had the pleasure to see the band playing live that night and as this world is not big enough, I found the poster.

I can’t remember the year though…

yeahgraffity_copy

I was very surprised when I found an A.E.T.A. blog. Nice !!!!

This is where I found this poster from. So, we posted the first one and now we got the second…

Cool, cause we’re talking bout the 80’s…

afisa_park_eley8erias

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2009 in Baby steps to a new era, Posters/Ads

 

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Headleaders plus…

What it Means to me

What it Means to me

Headleaders was an Athenian post punk group that was formed in 1981.
They released the 7″ single “Voices” for Creep records and soon was followed by their album
which was titled “What it Means to me” .
Their music had a touch of pop style that made them sound a bit different from the rest bands of
Creep’s roster but their relations were very close to them thanks to bass player Spyros Faros.

farosSpyros Faros was sometimes playing with the Yell o Yell and with the band Rehearsed Dreams.
Later he would be the partner of Giannis Papaioannou in Elfish Records and the band Raw.

 Spider’s Web was one more of his personal music vehicle sbut he also released two albums and one EP with the electronic band This Fluid and worked with the act Spy F + the Zakoulas.

You don't wanna...

You don't wanna...

He released a solo album titled “You Don’t Wanna” in 2008 in a development to his experiments on electronic music using tribal rythms in dark soundscapes. Check his myspace profile.

Headleaders’s drummer Joseph Baselie, would join the band Next to Nothing and would release with them an album with 7 songs, titled “Long Way to the Sun”.
This album was more in an Australian rock style and soon after that they would split.

Long Way To The Sun

Long Way To The Sun

After they split, some members of Next To Nothing released by the name Tango, a dance cover of the rembetiko song “Anapse to tsigaro”
produced by Costas Sokialis.
I don’t remember Baselie participating to that band (and I am almost sure that I am mispelling
his name as french language is not my cup of tea…)
Instead, he opened a record shop in Monastiraki flee market simply naming it after his name…
I have no idea what happened to the other two members of the Headleaders, guitar player Dakis Halkiopoulos
and singer Frank Vakoulas.

Now, for something different:
I know a lot of Greek vinyl lovers buy records from Joseph’s record shop.

Bristle
Bristle

This reminded me of an other musician who’s coffee/bar is a meeting point in Athens.
“Stavlos” is a very well known place in the aerea of Thision.
George Orfanoudakis is one of the owners of the place.
Orfanoudakis was the drummer of the garage band Brush who released the album “Bristel” in 1989.
They did a very nice cover on this album on Terry Jacks’s “Seasons in the Sun” and the band
also appeared on the Greek national tv channel which was hosted by Michalis Koumbios.
This album was their only release.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2009 in New Wave / Dark Wave

 

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Will-o-the Wisp – Second Sight

Second Sight

Second Sight

I wanna make something clear: I should start writing about the first album of this band to follow
all four album releases of theirs BUT I was listening to this album today while driving my car.
“Second Sight” was the second album of Will-o-the Wisp.
Takis Barbagalas, former guitar player of Lefki Symfonia and founder of the band Red Mist
(released the single “Empire of All” and the album “Red Mist” both in 1994) decided to
form a psychedelic band in 1997.

Will-o-the Wisp released their first self titled album in January 1999, both on vinyl and CD format.
With the same line up: Takis Barbagalas – quitars, Costas PagonaTs – bass, Dina Nassi – keyborads, Nikos Manousopoulos – drums,
Nikos Halkias – flute and Angelo Gerakitis – vocals, they recorded their second album “Second Sight”.

It came out on January 2001 both on vinyl and CD format again (someone loves vinyl in this band…)

The 8 songs of “Second Sight” would guide the listener to the dream world of Will-o-the Wisp for 38 minutes.
Psychedelic/prog rock soundscapes, flowing male/female vocals excellent drumwork and flutes help you
discover their fairyland.

Alan Lee and Brian Froud made a wonderful artwork.
You should also check their website, created by Melani, and be sure you will be mesmerised.

wow3

Track Listing:
1. The Passage 2. Internal Journey 3. Queen Of Dreams 4. Ropedancer 5. Rings Of Time 6. Water-Lily’s Land 7. The Message
8. S.T.3

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2009 in Psychedelic

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. VI

Life plays strange games sometimes.
People change during time in unexpected ways.
Things change as we grow up and that is not bad.
Michalis Koumbios is a Greek composer with lots of releases.
He released several albums of Greek bouzouki music and worked with popular Greek musicians such as:
Giorgos Dalaras, Elias Klonaridis, Dimitra Papiou and others.
He also sings.
 
Michalis Koumbios has also been the chief of staff of the Greek mainstream music magazine “Difono” for a while.
“Difono” is a magazine dealing with Greek music, not exactly the “well known” bouzouki kind but…close enough.

Michalis Koumbios was also hosting a tv show on the Greek national tv channel during 1990, presenting Greek rock bands (One Night Suzan was one I can remember of…).

And going even more back, Michalis Koumbios released the first punk rock 7″ single with Greek lyrics.
Who would expect it huh ?
When I last met him sometime during 1992-93 he told me that he discovered “the magic of Greek music” so he became a Greek music composer…
Fair enough.
But, long before that, when this kind of magic wasn’t that obvious to him, his band, Koumbotripes A.E. (engl. Buttonholes S.A. ελλ.
Κουμπότρυπες Α.Ε.) released the single “Kainourgia Epanastasi/Kathimerines Katastaseis” (engl. New Revolution/Everyday situations
ελλ. Καινουργια Επανάσταση/Καθημερινες Καταστάσεις).

Koumbotripes A.E. were rehearsing in the same studio with the h/c punk band Birth Ward 82 (they released the first Greek punk rock single with english lyrics) in Tambouria-Piraeus.
koump1aThe band Koumbotripes A.E. was playing a wonderful post punk style and the lyrics were political and sarcastic.
Their single was released through Happening Records in 1983 and they had their first radio interview the same year
with Argiris Zilos on national broadcasting.

“Kainourgia Epanastasi”  is an excelent song.
As the production was in the spirit of DIY, it sounds exactly as it should.
I believe that if by some chance, the whole outcome would sound better, the feeling would be lost.
But what we got here, to me, is a post punk masterpiece.

“Kathimerines Katastaseis” gives me the impression that Koumbotripes were influenced a bit by Birth Ward 82 cause it sounds
more to the Athenian punk sound.

Later they would have a couple of more releases (a tape, they would participate to a compilation and one more 7″ single) and they would split in 1986 to reform again for one more album that I never
listened of, in 1998.

In any case, Koumbotripes A.E. released the first punk rock single with Greek lyrics.

 

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