Kristi Stassinopoulou

Kristi Stassinopoulou

Echotropia

Tinder

Kristi Stassinopoulou doesn’t look like a Balkan ethno-trance artist. She looks like the really nice girl who was in your chemistry class who let you borrow her notes when you blew off class to go hang out at the 7-Eleven. You know the one? The one who played varsity volleyball but was only second-string?

But this just goes to prove that it’s hard to tell when it comes to Balkan ethno-trance. I guess that’s not surprising, considering that Stassinopoulou made up that label for herself and there ain’t anyone else working the territory. But be not afraid; this is great stuff, even if you’ve never heard any other Greek techno folk psychedelia before. Kristi, who’s been kicking around the cool Exarthia section of Athens for more than a decade refining her attack, has found a way to remake the multi-culti nature of Greek music into some wild stuff that might spin your holy head around.

A lot of this music uses the basic underpinning of rembetica (Greek heroin-chic folk music); other stuff sounds like it comes from all countries and nowhere simultaneously. But all of it features Stassinopoulou’s haunting vocals and a dense layer of sounds both electronic and live. Echotropia, which was released to great acclaim in Europe in 1999, is finally out here, and it is pretty clearly some of the best music of any kind that you’re likely to hear if you can put down that damned Creed disc.

Stassinopoulou and her co-conspirator Stathis Kalyviotis both have a sense that this is a huge wild world full of lots of different cool stuff, so they just throw it all in. Kickin’ tracks like “We Are Flying,” featuring a great surprising bagpipe-sounding break at the 3:59 mark, and “Drumming Frogs,” which has a great vocal line, some smooth chanting, and an unavoidable accordion melody over bubbling computer rhythms, definitely escape the “boring world music” axis. And when they do the inevitable woman-whispering-text-into-one-speaker track, at least the text is from Mikhail Bulgakov’s superb novel The Master and Margarita.

Listen: you might not like this music, especially if you’re a bad boring person who is just taking up space on this planet. But you’ll probably love it.

Tinder Records: http://www.tinderrecords.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Sweet Crude
    Sweet Crude

    Créatures (Rhyme and Reason). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Gregg Allman, RIP
    Gregg Allman, RIP

    Michelle Wilson gives tribute to the voice of an angel. Gregg Allman, RIP.

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

From the Archives