Curated by Ilias Pitsios (Echovolt Records) and Tako Reyenga (Red Light Records), a new compilation of Hellenic obscurities, Into The Light illuminates an overlooked strand of musical history. Released as a double LP in a gatefold sleeve on the new, eponymous imprint at the end of this month, the comp's 12 tracks span over a decade, from 1978-1991, and almost as many genres as ideas. We asked a couple of our Greek graduates to pick their favourite track from the compilation – followed by an accompanying recommendation for further delving.
From synth pop motorik, florid keyboard explorations, vocoder disco hypnosis, strangely prescient pre-vapourwave, ambient soundscapes, new age experiments and more, Into The Light offers a glimpse of Greek modernism. While none of these artists ever quite broke through to large commercial success, even in their own country, their electronic flirtations have been uncovered for the world to share.
Athens-based producer Giganta concocts a big, speaker-smashing sound. Her heavy sample-collages are filled with glitches, bass booms and whimsical melodies, but they are tempered by a stew of classical music (Eleni’s a trained flutist) as well as early ambient influences.
Vangelis Katsoulis “Improvisation”
“Although I didn’t know much about this composer, searching for his music, I found his work really nice. His improvised style is noticeable; in music the goal for me would be to learn and absorb, but at some point let the knowledge slip into the background and just play free from forms, rules or recipes. Vangelis Katsoulishas managed to do that, and people can feel it in his sound. He has also composed numerous soundtracks and music for the theatre, as well as for radio and television. Since 1983, the use of music technology became apparent in his compositions.”
“Raw were formed during the summer of 1990, when Giannis Papaioannou and Makis Faros started making music for imaginary waiting rooms. They released it on their own label Elfish in 1994.”
Having rocked drumkits in bands, Mari.Cha has turned to super-charging the decks of clubs in Thessaloniki with a heady selection of house and spaced-out hip hop. She’s also known for simmering a stew of deep prog rock-influenced funk rarities, and the latest edit-filled cuts by Amsterdam’s leftfooted vanguard and Detroit’s deepest downtempo house-mongers.
George Theodorakis “Stou”
“Hadn’t heard this track until recently, and it’s one of those times when you realise how many things you’ve missed and how many more there are to learn. Great for afterhours listenings and car rides, “Stou” is slowly revealing a trip of its own.”
Villa 21 “Meaning”
“This one is not exactly genre-related, since it belongs to the more rock, new wave Greek scene, but for me it reflects in a similar way the dark side atmosphere of the late 80s, the revolutionary youth and the creative force of the times back then.”
Into The Light’s tracklist:
1. Akis “Into The Light”
2. Lena Platonos “A Physical Exercise Unresolved”
3. George Theodorakis “No Name”
4. 141 G “What You Gonna Do (12-inch Dub Version)”
5. Syndrome “Roots (12-inch Extended Version)”
6. Vangelis Katsoulis “Improvisation”
7. George Theodorakis “Stou”
8. Dimitris Petsetakis “Clearance Part I + II”
9. Stavros Logarides “Snif Snif (Instrumental)”
10. Dimitris Papadimitriou “John And George And Eve”
11. Michalis Rakintzis “Arrest”
12. Akis “Space, Time And Beyond”