Giannis Aggelakas - O chamenos ta pairnei ola (Loser Takes All)
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Giannis Aggelakas
O chamenos ta pairnei ola (Loser Takes All)
Hitch-Hyke (www.hitchhyke.gr)

cd cover Loser Takes All is the soundtrack for a Greek film dealing with losers, rock personas, femmes fatales, general mayhem and, in the words of the director, a show of 'inter-generational solidarity against oppression' composed by Yannis Aggelakas, leader of the famous Greek rock band, Trypes (a ka The Holes). In this soundtrack, however, Aggelakas overcomes the rules and regulations of rock music and delivers a multi-fronted record that flirts with many different styles, particularly dance music with snippets of ethnic influence. In that sense, it is similar in spirit to Nikos Portokaloglou's Brasileiro, each recordings rooted both in tradition and innovation and providing a different facet of contemporary Greek music. Symeon Nikolaidis, the director's son and lead actor, along with Aggelakas (who makes his acting debut in this film), have also co-written two nice ballads, both sung in English by Nikolaidis.

Aggelakas, by mixing rock, dance and ethnic elements, follows on from the Trypes' last record (In Other People's Nights) that also referenced the emerging dance culture. It also has direct links to a side-project he did early in the Nineties called Sweet Nothings (Yperocho Tipota) with Yiorgos Carras.

The title song of the record (Listen!) is vintage Trypes-Aggelakas. His drowsy rap style seconded by Nikolaidis, the demented chorus, the clapping and whistling reminiscent of laiko music, the fast commentary-style rap near the end and the various cries are all classic. The rest of the music is, by necessity, incidental and fragmentary and sometimes difficult to warm to, but there are still snippets of grandeur on a number of tracks. By comparison, Portokaloglou's record seemed a far more concise project with real songs and real tunes and so overall is the better of the two.

If you are already familiar with Aggelakas and his band and if you enjoyed Brasileiro this will be a nice companion piece. If not, the aforementioned Sweet Nothings and 1991's Ennia Pliromena Tragoudia are far better introductory points into the band which created the "modern Greek rock scene". - Nondas Kitso

Sound samples and CD available at cdRoots
See also: Nikos Portokaloglou - Brasileiro


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