Music Review: Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis – Greekadelia

Greekadelia Kristi Stassinopoulou Album Cover

Genre: Demotika / Traditional Greek / World / Revamped folk

Region: Athens, Greece

Artists’ Website: Kristi Stassinopoulou official webiste

Label: Riverboat UK Music, World Music Network

Release Date: June 18, 2012

This album evokes feelings of familiarity, belonging and inner soul-searching at once. This is the essence of the music of globetrotters Greekadelia Live Photoand intronauts, Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis. That was also the message I treasured when I saw them live the summer before under the bright August moon in a majestic Greek island setting. They revoked in me that primordial call of investigating live, of travelling inside and outside at once – a constant research of life.

‘Greekadelia’ features a really original sound, different from most of the music filed under the ‘Folk’ or ‘World’ genres – yet most of the songs are familiar to most Greek people. In fact, the whole album is comprised by reworkings of traditional Greek folk songs, known as demotika (δημοτικά) – a culmination of the duo’s intensive touring and researching around Greece. Basically, all the songs come from different parts of the country (Thessaly, Epirus, Dodecanese islands etc.), representing different folk styles; however, everything sounds coherent under their characteristic approach.

Greekadelia Kristi Stassinopoulou And Stathis Kalyviotis Photo

Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis

Greekadelia’offers the intimate sound of the duo without the addition of extra musicians. While Kristi’s voice and Stathis’ lauto, the Greek lute, are treading on the scales of the traditional songs, there are other elements like the Indian harmonium or live looping that expand the sound spectrum into novel, psychedelic directions. There is an electronic aspect to their music that, oddly enough, contributes to their organic, minimalist folk with samples from nature, earthly timbres and reverbs. Numbers like the bucolic ‘Neratzoula Fountomeni’, the dubby ‘Erhomai Kai Esy Koimasai’ and the upbeat ‘ Rodo Tis Protanastasis’ are simply ecstatic.

‘Greekadelia’ builds on the success of their previous albums like 2003’s ‘The Secrets Of The Rocks’, which stayed 5 months at the Top 10 of the World Music Charts Europe or 2006’s ‘Taxidoscopio’ which was nominated for ‘The Wommie’ 2007 award. With more than 20 years in the alternative folk territory, the duo’s sound is maturing like old wine and if I take into account that ‘Greekadelia’ is already for the third month since its release in the top 10 and for the second month in a row at the number 1 spot of World Music Charts Europe it is probably their most successful effort to date.

Kristi and Stathis are unfolding the world’s beauty with their storytelling which we could put into our hearts if we wish to. They have chosen their own, lonely yet successful, path in today’s music, distancing themselves from any kind of hype scenes without being pretentious. We can just echo their voice for an exploration of our roots and although this call is directed mainly to the Greek youth, it also counts for every descendant of any living tradition. More than anything their music transmits that sense of frugality, emancipation and humble enlightenment – it manages to eradicate even the last remaining contrapositive forces between free-spirited Bohemianism and longstanding traditional enclaves.

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Explore more music from Greece:

  1. Martha Mavroidi – traditional music in playful and cosmopolitan forms
  2. Psarantonis – epitome of deep-rooted tradition and genuine innovation
  3. Cultural and innovative: Daulute’s first steps into Cretan music
  4. AUditors DOmination – Palace of Light (2012, Timewarp music)
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