Kristi Stassinopoulou

Kristi Stassinopoulou

The Secrets of the Rocks

Tinder

The lanky guy who lives next door to us puts music like this on the stereo about twice a week — just before he and his girlfriend (my wife and I have nicknamed her The Howler) have comically obnoxious sex. Ten seconds into the first track of The Secrets of the Rocks and I could quite easily predict how the remaining 58 minutes would be — though, this disc went unaccompanied by the usual hoots, shrieks, growls and groans that I have since come to associate with the genre.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you too are already familiar with The Secrets of the Rocks without having heard a single note. You’ve passed by the trendy cafés, bars and fashion retailers where they play it. You could name a few hipsters and pretentious types who have it spinning on their hi-fis as they sip red wine and prattle on about their collectable Flash Gordon figurines or the sheer visionary quality of Quentin Tarantino films. Breathy, laid back, chilled out, ambient, pseudo-sophisticated, eco-spiritual, new agey, electro lounge grooves, with one song — nay, whole albums — indistinguishable from the other. Scroll through a few presets on Apple’s GarageBand software and you can churn out the same ephemeral, anodyne stuff in a matter of minutes.

There’s no accounting for taste, however; so I would recommend that anyone who feels comfortable with the aforementioned stereotype apply some hair gel, don form-fitting black attire and then saunter down to the local record store to give Kristi Stassinopoulou’s newest album(successor to the well-received Echotropia) a listen. After all, one of these albums is as good (or bad) as the next. But the discerning listener with an interest in the world scene will probably be more drawn to another, more substantial Greek effort, namely the collaborative effort among Sigmatropic, Nobel laureate George Seferis, et al called 16 Haiku and Other Poems, recently issued on Thirsty Ear.

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

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