Record Review: AUditors DOmination – Palace of Light (2012, Timewarp music)

A stirring debut in the world downtempo genre packed with astonishing tracks and some native Greek fusions

Auditors Domination Palace of Light

Genre: Downtempo / Dub / Funk / World

Country: Greece

Artists Website:  http://auditorsdomination.com/

Label:  Timewarp music

AUditors DOmination’s (Au.Do) music traverses familiar plains, yet it’s quality is out of the ordinary. ‘Palace of light’ is heavily influenced by the legacy of Thievery Corporation (TC), a beloved band among Greeks, but it is also packed with beautiful songs, outstanding arrangements with a keen sensibility for melody and detail. Au.Do are quite passionate for this form of music and that is evident in this recording.

Although Au.Do’s music draws influences from a wide range of sounds from all around the world, it is quite ‘orthodox’ in the sense that it seeks for beauty, rather than unrestrained experimentation, investing on tunefulness, harmony and balance in order to create smooth music-scapes appealing to all the people not only the music fan. It does not go to the direction of ‘sonic juggling’ that could compromise the aforementioned values. In line with their mentors, Au.Do keep the standards high, showcasing an eclectic taste in harvesting, ‘threshing’ and mingling global sounds and styles.

Their mix of funk, world and dub music in the downtempo tradition is remarkably pleasant. The funky beats of ‘Crazy system Mr. Prezidente’ set the tone with a reggae groove, dub effects, rich percussions and a soothing horn section – it brings in mind the good days of TC’s ‘The Mirror Conspiracy’. The second number ‘Throw the stone’ continues in the same direction, a bit more downtempo but with uplifting, funky vocals – the horns again have a strong and functional presence. ‘Literature’ continues in a percussive, funky mid-pace with more mind-travelling vibes and some sitar sounds.

AUditors DOmination – Rempeto:

‘Rempeto’ is one of the most interesting songs straightly referring to the Greek ‘outlaw’ culture of ‘Rebetiko’. Au.Do actually managed to put baglamas (traditional Greek instrument)-sounding strings in the place of the trademark ascending strokes of the reggae beat creating a reggae-rebetiko fusion. That reminded me the work of Giannis Aggelakas, as he has put baglamas in the forefront of his musical expeditions.

The next number ‘Rose of ispahan’ is a melting pot of thousand traditions. Another remarkable track is the dubby and emotional ‘Burned Soul’ with the ethereal melodies and delicate timbres filled with life’s mysteries and a sense of freedom. The title track bares a Calexico touch while the ‘Evolution of Cities’ is a straightforward reggae/dub anthem (like TC always use to have in their records as well) with Stefanatty from the historical reggae band ‘One Drop Forward’ on the mic.

AUditors DOmination – Dreaming of Zion:

Greek sounds come again in ‘Dreaming of zion’, these time not from the heavy rebetiko style but from the graceful breeze of island vibes as mixed with powerful horns – slightly reminding the ‘Cycladic dub’ epic of fellow countryman Vlastur. Indeed, for me also, those islands are some of the last remaining resorts of zion on Earth. The closing track ‘Viejos amigos’ is soaked in tango pinpointing directly at the Parisian group Gotan Project.

AUditors DOmination with their debut full-length boast that Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city, is not sleeping. Au.Do were formed back in 2008 after they had completed the installation of their own private studio ‘L.F.Show’. The band has already attracted quite some artists, who are ‘passing’ from their recordings. It will be no surprise if ‘L.F.Show’ will become a node of quality music development in the city.

Bottom line is that ‘Palace of light’ although not reinventing the wheel of electronic world music, it is a memorable album that showcases the craftsmanship of gifted composers and musicians. The mixes with native Greek instruments and melodies are particularly interesting and perhaps an original and creative path for them to follow.

AUditors DOmination – Throw the Stone:

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Explore other electronic world artists here:

Novalima – Karimba (2012, ESL Music)

Find out about more artists from Greece here:

  1. Cultural and innovative: Daulute’s first steps into Cretan music
  2. Psarantonis – epitome of deep-rooted tradition and genuine innovation

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