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Prog Folk • Greece

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Darnakes picture
Darnakes biography
Formed: Thessaloniki, Greece 2002
Status as of December 2017: Active

The Greek folk band DARNAKES began in 2002 as a traditional folk band. Through a number of lineup and style changes, the group evolved into a Balkan folk ensemble, melding the traditional and modern with folk, punk, rock and gypsy sounds. The group released their first studio album Virgo in 2005. In subsequent releases they incorporated more progressive influences and aspects.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

Updated by Ken Levine (kenethlevine) December 2017

DARNAKES Videos (YouTube and more)

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DARNAKES discography

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DARNAKES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 5 ratings
4.00 | 6 ratings
Libra: The Matchmaking of Antigone
2.50 | 2 ratings

DARNAKES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DARNAKES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DARNAKES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DARNAKES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Virgo by DARNAKES album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.14 | 5 ratings

Darnakes Prog Folk

Review by Psychedelic Paul

3 stars It's written in the stars! This merry band of astrologers are the most authentic Greek experience you'll have since Anthony Quinn first wooed Irene Papas in Zorba the Greek. Darnakes hail from Greece's second city of Thessaloniki, where the days are long and the hot sultry nights are filled with the sound of love and laughter, and if you happen to wander near a local Greek taverna and hear the sound of Balkan balalaikas, then if you care to venture inside, you may find dancers merrily cavorting and carousing in gaily-coloured skirts, and sometimes the women join in too. Darnakes are just the kind of traditional Greek minstrels you might find performing there, with songs all sung in their native Greek language and all performed on traditional Greek instruments. Darnakes are certainly an orthodox folk band on this first album - although their religion doesn't even come into it - but their second and best album "Libra" opens the book on a far heavier progressive edge to the band. Look out for Darnakes' third and most recent album to date though, which has a sting in the tail.
 Libra: The Matchmaking of Antigone by DARNAKES album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 6 ratings

Libra: The Matchmaking of Antigone
Darnakes Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars While it's difficult to source English language (or indeed Latin alphabet) information about DARNAKES beyond their discography, I have now listened to all 3 of their recordings as of this date, and while they are all enjoyable, "Libra" is their most progressive, and indeed a sweet union of prog and folk Balkan-style. That blend is all the more precious for its apparent scarcity.

Perhaps because folk music as we tend to think of it is based on rhythms and melodies that predate the British Invasion by centuries or millenia, I tend to think of purveyors as being elders as well, particularly if it resonates with barely recollected Jewish songs and dances from my childhood that were invariably initiated by impossibly wizened distant relatives. Looking at google maps' rendering of Thessalonki, the region where Darnakes' originates, it's no surprise that I hear parallels to eastern European, Arabic, Israeli, and Mediterranean traditions. And, incidentally, from their picture, the group members are not that old...or at least weren't when the photo was taken. Yeah and I'm not that old either, right!

What they are, however, is a village of sound. You never know what Darnakes will throw at you, from the inaugural retro psych notes of "Flirting with Destruction" to the sultry persuasion of "Triste" to the hazy jam of " Paraesthesiae" to the MANU CHAO influenced (possibly a cover?) "Strange Words" to the smoky and sexy closer "Giuditta". The variation in vocal styles, instrumentation, and tempo is all admirable for its own sake as we have seen on many preferred albums, but at no point here does it seem artificial. That adroit interweaving of in the ancient and the modern, even if that modern is sometimes firmly rooted in the 1970s - and who here can blame them for that - in a manner utterly lacking in self consciousness, makes "Libra" a winner whatever your sign.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition. and to kenethlevine for the last updates

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