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Dionysis Savvopoulos - Vromiko Psomi CD (album) cover


Dionysis Savvopoulos



4.07 | 11 ratings

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4 stars Album no.2 on the essential list of Savvopoulos' early releases, "Vromiko Psomi" picks up from where "Ballos" concluded. The eclectic nature is ever apparent with styles ranging from cabaret music to folk, Greek ethnic (zeimpekiko-Epirotic-Macedonian-Thracean tunes) to avant progressive rock, and all that within 37 minutes.

The structure of the album is in a way similar to "Ballos", with several shorter-length songs and a long composition, which comes by the name 'Mavri Thalassa' and represents the absolute highlight; in this occasion, the album concludes (rather than opens) with that most majestic piece of composition.

The "shorts" include among others a very good cover of (surprise-surprise) Bob Dylan on its 'The Wicked Messenger' with strong political lyrics and folkish atmosphere on acoustic guitars. 'I Dimosthenous Lexis' and 'Zeimpekiko' are two of his most well-known compositions that have survived the decades, the former a low-tempo socio-political statement with elaborate rhythm section and the latter an elongated version of the traditional Greek zeimpekiko, giving a different dimension to the Minor Asia-derived 9/8 tempo. Light-hearted and ironic moods could not be absent from this festival; 'Elsa se Fovamai' and 'Olaria Olara', the former showing some skill on sliding guitar playing under an trumpet-led party. The tribute to Zappa and Beefheart, but also progressive folk, take place on 'Tragoudi' and 'To Moro', the second including ecstatic operating female vocals on the short refrain.

All the above mix with trumpet improvisations, twin-flute phrases and Macedonian/Thracean tempos on slap bass to produce 'Mavri Thalassa'. Ancient Greek theatre and opera make their way on the grandiose refrain, which lifts the composition to unimaginable heights, following a dark verse seeming to come out a Pagan dance. After a total fluke of avant improvisation the song returns to an ethnic/folk structure before concluding, leaving the listener with an open mouth...

Similar to "Ballos", "Vromiko Psomi" is a must-have for those stretching their prog boundaries even if not all compositions appear challenging enough for the initiated listener.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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