Nexus: Evolution/Revolution

21 Sep

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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