Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis
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Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis
Riverboat (

Psychedelia means the manifestation of the psyche – the soul.
In direct relation, Greekadelia is the manifestation of Greece, and either by design or by chance, Kristi Stassinopoulou & Stathis Kalyviotis could not be more accurate in the naming this recording.

Everyone still living in Greece during these turbulent times is trying to make sense out of a financial catastrophe the kind of which has not been seen for almost seventy years. But this is still a functioning country which operates much as it did before the crisis. This could be down to the fact that turmoil is nothing new to the Greek experience and all of us take solace and comfort in the stories told by our parents and grandparents of a Greece much different than the one of the last forty years – a Greece of extreme poverty, extreme pain but also religion and community, the Greece that we have come to recognize through the demotika – the soul of Greece – the traditional music sung for centuries but recorded haphazardly in the early Twentieth Century in villages up in the mountains or on the islands .

Greekadelia would have been a wonderful record regardless of the time or the circumstances. The almost patented folk psychedelica that Stassinopoulou and Kalyviotis have been turning out for a number of years is really unique – nobody else plays music like this in Greece or elsewhere. Musically, it is perfect; a tight, well-produced record with varied and interesting instrumentation, and with vocals full of a sweetness and honesty.

That this record comes out during the current turmoil is nothing short of a miracle. What is even more heartening is that this is one of the few Greek roots music records that I’ve heard being played inside the country: this is not just some whimsical imprint directed mostly to people outside, for the world music scene or circuit. No, this is a record by Greeks for Greeks – this is our record, our remembrance of stories past, often told but still relevant. These are stories of people sailing to the islands, of people remembering their loved ones who are away, stories of discomfort and of the dark underbelly of conservative, close-knit communities but also stories of hope and perseverance.

These songs are so familiar that it feels like I know all of them, even if I don't. Listening to these songs, in my room, on headphones, or in a busy café, or on the radio in the middle of midtown traffic, you feel their power every time. Stassinopoulou’s vocal often sounds like it is delivered through the time-space continuum, a dislocated voice straight from the past delivering the same hard notions of truth that you want to avoid but whose power and truth you know you have to acknowledge, carrying with it echoes of the land: the voice of the captain announcing the arrival at an island, the bells heralding Easter – the biggest and most unique celebration in the Greek Orthodox religious calendar. These stories of travel, nature, immigration, death, pain, love and yearning have been told to us so many times, like Iliad and Odyssey: an oral tradition so well groomed that any superfluous baggage has been eliminated. This is purity.

And then, these stories are twined with sounds that are western interpretations of ancient eastern traditions. Suddenly it’s East meets West but carries itself back East – it’s a virtuous cycle that centrifugally brings everything inside, makes it One, dulls the pain and calms the yearning by acknowledging them.

This is not an easy record. Greekadelia demands repeated listening to deliver its message. It is highly recommended, a definitive recording for the Greek music scene, one that ought to become a standard.
- Nondas Kitsos [Thessaloniki, Greece]

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