Is there such thing as contemporary Greek blues, worthy to stand next to dimotika and rebetika? Manolis Aggelakis’ third album, “Ti Kanoun I Skies Ti Nihta?» (“What Shadows Do At Night”), is the positive answer that comes to represent a rare, in our days, music proposal and winks to Tom Waits and Mihalis Souyoul. After “Diskoles Meres” (“Hard Days”) and “Stamatina” Manolis Aggelakis is back with his darkest and loneliest album, to explore the border side of life with sensibility and simplicity.
“Ti Kanoun I Skies Ti Nihta?» (“What Shadows Do At Night”) resembles to the unknown friend at the end of the bar, always available to share a nightcap with you, just before a new day breaks. Aggelakis’ music landscapes are hazy, undefinable and deserted and his stories, bitter bites of everyday hardships, with original blues subjects: love, poverty, loneliness, immigration, prison, death. The lyrics of Hristos Kanellopoulos, Dimitris Borsis and Aggelakis himself, descend the darkest stairs and lead to deserted basements, where the shadows haunt and the unknown meets the familiar. At the same time, at another level, small explosions of light flirt with the black background: a geranium in the garden, a rock that doesn’t roll but dreams, a fearless traveler. Aggelakis has composed, played and recorded the whole album, following a more low fi style, compared with his previous works. The result is original and deeply personal.
The album “Ti Kanoun I Skies Ti Nihta?» (“What Shadows Do At Night”) is released from the label of Exostis in limited edition vinyl including cd. The portrait of Manolis Aggelakis on the cover was painted by dB.
Inner Ear welcomes 2011 and the new, long awaited album of Thanasis Papakonstantinou, which is entitled “O Elahistos Eaftos” (“The Minimal Self”) and will be released under the label of Exostis on February 1st. Thanasis Papakonstantinou has written the music and lyrics and also created part of the arrangements, while the main arranger of the album is Fotis Siotas. The majority of the recordings took place at Ahos Studio and were engineered and mixed by Hristos Megas. Thanasis Papakonstantinou is the main performer of the tracks, with guest appearances from Fotis Siotas and Orfeas Peridis. It is difficult to describe “O Elahistos Eaftos” (“The Minimal Self”) in words but the skein begins to slowly untangle, when one follows the creator’s key-words:
«The minimal self, the crazy dancer, the ark of movements, the tracer of Vega. The most disobedient of the two ghosts? the o in Ego. He saw the first day that dawned – where all the mysteries came from – for this he has become violate and inarticulate and incurable air that shakes the teeth. When he is scared his hair changes and becomes the tendons of a hunted animal, the pine- needles in the wood of deciduous pine -trees, or even bodies on the train rails. And while he can identify fragments, he can’t tell the difference between horror and a codling. He dirties the lying sky with his feet and steals from hell everything that’s his. The minimal, we say, the one that feels nostalgic for the beginning, the one that the white of his eye is filled with moss, the carrier of dreams that changes the shapes and forces the space to become nauseous. The helot wearing one sandal, the sudden crack, the city of doorless buildings, the nasal whale, the sea monster of Jonah, the wild boiling that prepares the greens. This minimal, this self, identical with a refrigerator’s noise in an empty house, bonds harmonically with the other, the cosmic, and together they weave the terror and then the faith. He freezes time, freezes blood, doesn’t evolve, doesn’t construe. He deeps his fingers in the honey of life and, almost autistically, he stirs it forever”.
Foivos Delivorias is being transformed into an invisible person, but not insubstantial. Raw material emanates from the obsessions of his own reality that emancipated henceforth and without guilt, become a unique inspiration for the songwriter. The boy that managed to break his “mirror” and later on went “outside”, now simply matures. He grows up and he does that beautifully. He becomes an independent man that carries the wisdom of his heroes and conveys it overtly into his words and melodies.
In “The Invisible Man” (O Aoratos Anthropos) the songmaker leaves himself freer than ever and builds up his most mature work of 11 songs. Foivos Delivorias along with Stamatis Stamatakis (bass and contrabass) and Giorgos Katsanos, who plays 20 different instruments (piano, Epinette des Vosges, musical saw, theremin, theatre organ, and others) have created the most inspired arrangements. Arleta makes a special guest appearance in one track, while newcomer Rena Morfi is performing a duet with Foivos. The Invisible Foivos was photographed by Hristos Hatziioannou, creatively “designed” by db and friendly “smudged” by Stefanos Rokos. Yannis Petrolias did the sound engineering and music production, while Panagiotis Liberopoulos is the production manager.
“The Invisible Man” dances an electric “Bolero”, caresses her hair from a distance while “he wishes he was there” [Tha ‘ thela na ‘mouna eki], he burns in cinematic avenues for an “Other heart” [Alli kardia], he listens to the “Horoscope” [Oroskopio] from the “astrologer” Arleta, he expresses his “Doubt” [Amfivolia] with an electronic concern, he dims the lights for the “The Darkness of Two” [To Skotadi ton Dio], he borrows religious melodies in order not to stay “Without” [Horis], he looks at his “Zero Incoming Messages” (Miden Iserhomena) with nerve and dirty rhythm, he watches a distorted old Greek film, entitled “Disowned” [Apokirigmeno]”, he gains his own music under “This Moon” [To Feggari Afto] and finally reaches his “Shelter” [To Katafigio] with calm and relaxed steps.