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Dionysis Savvopoulos - Ballos CD (album) cover

BALLOS

Dionysis Savvopoulos

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.53 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars An emblimatic figure of the Greek Rock scene, growing different generations and upon different periods of the Greek history, Dionysis Savvopoulos was born in Thessaloniki in 1944 and stopped his studies at the School of Law in 1963 to become a singer/songwriter.He moved to Athens and sung in various cult pubs and bars of the Greek capital, before launching his debut ''Fortigo'' in 1966, followed by ''To perivoli tou trelu'' in 1967.It was about the same time, when he was imprisoned by the Greek dictatorship for his political and revolutionary beliefs.One of his best albums, ''Mpallos'' sees the light in 1971 on the legendary Lyra label.Among the participants of this album was also Dimitris Poulikakos.

The sidelong 16-min. title track, which refers to an ancient dance, mainly performed on Greek islands, is one of the most obscure pieces in the Avant Folk field with definite influences from Balkan Music and Macedonian Folk, characterized by the changing use of traditional instruments and the impressive, archaic horn sections.Shifting between poetic vocal parts and folky instrumentals, this track is a good example of dark and haunting Progressive Folk with acoustic passages and strong percussions in evidence, supported by Balkan-inspired horn lines, delicate flute and sweet piano themes.A really challenging composition with sarcastic lyrics, driven by the complex breaks and its dramatic atmosphere.The second side is certainly more easy-listening, somewhere between Psychedelic Rock and Singer/Songwriter stylings, even if the Folk influences are still apparent.Moreover I can detect a slight jazzy vibe in the electric guitar parts.Savvopoulos' voice is a trademark of his releases with his hoarse and extremely lyrical color and these pieces contain alternating electric and acoustic moments with more conventional song structures, strengthened by the presence of flutes and horns.''Dialeima'' is among the best cuts of the second side with Classical-driven flute parts and pastoral acoustic guitars in the vein of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, while the closing ''Se efcharisto o eteria!'' is a ZAPPA-esque piano/horn-driven ballad with chant-like vocal arrangements and a humoristic lyrical content.

''Mpallos'' is an excellent addition for all fans of Psychedelic Folk, Avant Prog and Experimental Rock.Enigmatic music, controlled by poetic vocals with electroacoustic craziness and lots of diverse climates.Warmly recommended in general, Greek fans will also appreciate the sinister lyrics of the album and should add a half star.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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