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Opticoacoustic Bomb – a VHS compilation

13 Mar

front coverBack in 1991 a very interesting video compilation titled “Optocoacoustic Bomb“, came out through the record label Fifth Dimension.

Fifth Dimension was based in the small city of Kiato (between the cities of Patras and Korinthos).  It was run by two persons and the release of this video compilation remains something very special, although very rare.

Some of the most important bands of those days were participating in this compilation,
initialy giving the chance to people from the country side to see these bands on stage, as all the shootings were during gigs.

I dare to say that this was the Greek…Urgh !

Today, that compilation remains a mark of those 10 bands in time.

The tracklisting:

Blue Jeans
Itan einai kai tha einai
Noise Promotion Company
No Man’s Land
Panx Romana
R.R. Hearse & S.M.
Sarka
T.V.C.
Villa 21
Ipogeia Troxia

blue jeansThe Blue Jeans were formed in 1984 playing rock ‘n’ roll with Greek lyrics but soon turned into a rockabilly sound with English lyrics.  They were around till the mid 90’s.
More information about them, here.

Itan ine ke tha ine (engl. Was, is and will be ελλ. Ηταν, είναι και θα είναι) were formed in Thessaloniki in 1987 by guitar player Vasilis Karagiannis and drummer Michalis Zaglanakis.  They released a demo tape with their experimental sound, titled “Sygnomi irthate defteros” (engl. Sorry, you came second ελλ. Συγγνώμη ηρθατε Δευτερος).

itan ine ke tha ineSoon, singer Dionisis Gantzias and bass player Michalis Kotsifakis joined the band and released
a second demo tape, titled “Osa perni o Anemos” (engl. Gonne with the wind ελλ. Οσα παίρνει
ο Ανεμος) that was featuring a couple of songs that would be found later on their first album.

itanItan ine ke tha ine, started playing live around Greece and in 1989 they released their first album “Me ola ta hromata stin tsepi” (engl. With all the colours in the pocket ελλ. Με Ολα τα Χρώματα στην Τσέπη) through Lazy Dog Records during 1990.  Their lyrics were a bit surreal and their sound was new wave with psychedelic elements.

npcThe next band comes also from Thessaloniki.  Their name is Noise Promotion Company.  Formed in 1984, they released the albums “Silence” and “Catalogue” and appeared on two Biennale, in Thessaloniki  in 1986 and Bologna in 1988.  They did a small Italian tour during the summer of  1987.

The two tracks that are featured in the “Optocoacoustic Bomb” are from a gig of theirs in Pylaia-Thessaloniki during the summer of 1988.  More information about Noise Promotion Company here.

no_mans_land No Man’s Land was formed in Athens during 1985 and evolved into one of the most important psychedelic Greek bands during 1987-88. 

Apart from singer Evi Hasapidou (who left the band long before the “Optocoacoustic Bomb” was put together, singer and guitar player Vasilis Athanasiadis, bassist Giorgos Papagiorgiadis, keyboardist Agis Gravaris and drummer Giorgos Nikas reached a cult status in the Greek underground rock scene.

The band toured Greece twice and appeared in two French festivals playing their matterial and covers by the Chocolate Watchband, Otis Redding, Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones.  They released the album “Zalion” in 1988 and participated with their tracks “The Blue Train” and “Don’t Run Away” to the LP compilation “Cicadas“.

no_mans-landWith Hasapidou leaving the band, the rest of the members formed their own record label, Broumel Records and in 1990, they released the “Reality Trip” EP .

In the “Optocoacoustic Bomb” they perform two unreleased tracks, “Afraid of the Dark” and “Narrow Spaces“. 

No Man’s Land continued till the mid 90’s.  They reformed during the 00’s and released a new album titled “Home in the Sky” that you can buy here.

You can taste their sound here.

No Man’s Land are still active nowdays gigging very often.

panxI wrote an extensive bio about Panx Romana here.
They released their first album in 1987 and a string of releases followed since then.  Their drummer, Dimitris Dimitrakas, was also member of the band T.V.C.

When their bass player, Julio left the band, he formed Ache In Silence.  The main figure of the band was the singer Frank Ninos, who first started performing for the punk rock band Stress in the late 70’s/early 80’s before forming the Panx Romana.

R.R. Hearse have their own history.  R.R. Hearse (aka Lambros Tsamis) was close friends with the band Ex Humans  and they were jamming very often together.  This self-destructive singer with the tall and thin sillouete was captured performing live in 1983 with the Ex Humans here.

Their music was based on hardcore and free improvisation.  He participated with his track “Endless Sleep” in a compilation single of the fanzine “Stis Skies tou B23“.  In 1990 R.R. Hearse & S.M. decided to split.  Tsamis formed the duet “Love Exotics” during the 90’s, however, they never released anything.  Influenced by the Acid House scene he soon became a dj.

The line up in this compilation:  R.R. Hearse-vocals, Inca-bass/drums, Laughing Headache-drums/bass, H/C-samplers.

sarkaSarka were formed in Crete.  I wrote about theme here.  They participated with two tracks, “Hrima” and “No Girls”.  I have to mention here that this band covers 4 pages of the booklet that comes with this video compilation, “explaining” why they wrote these two songs but said very little about the band…

Information about the band T.V.C. can be found here.

villa21Information about the band Villa 21 can be found here.
These videos capture the band right before they split and soon after the release of their last album “Hellucinations“. 

Two years before that, the band recorded a cover of Alice Cooper’s track “We’ve still got a long way to go” which was released by the spanish label Munster Records on the compilation “The Munster Dance Hall Favorites, Vol. III“.

ypogeia troxiaInformation about the band Ipogeia Troxia can be found here.  The band managed to escape from the city of Ptolemaida by playing live in many Greek cities and releasing three albums.  The were the opening act for the American band Gothic Hut.

Compilations like this should be in every house of the Greek rock fan. This was the only video compilation, as far as I know, that captures 10 Greek bands from different parts of the country playing live in the late 80s.

optic_backWe will try to post these videos in the near future cause we believe you all have to see what we are talking about.

Don’t expect any profesional videos.

These are simply a part of the Greek rock history.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 13, 2009 in Compilations

 

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One response to “Opticoacoustic Bomb – a VHS compilation

  1. Sotiris

    July 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I’m trying to locate Agis Gravaris of No Man’s Land. I went to high school with him in Holargo, Athens, Greece. If anyone knows of his contact info, pls, let me know, or you can pass him mine.
    Thank you
    Sotiris Bogris
    1-289-314-8264

     

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