Saturday, December 26, 2015

Phosphorus Hesperus: a contemporary prog tale

The new album Phosphorus Hesperus by Takis Barbagalas is one of the 2015 surprises.
It’s been two years since the second Manticore’s Breath album and Takis returns to the atmospheric, progressive sound of Will-O-the-wisp to deliver a fully instrumental album inspired by the myth of Phosphorus and Hesperus, the star with the two names.

Phosphorus Hesperus is a progressive-psychedelic album based on guitar, farfisa and flutes. Dreamy and poetic.
There are 4 compositions in total: side A is Phosphorus (3 parts), side B is Hesperus (1 part).

The artwork is again of very high standards with a hard cover and colored vinyl.
There are 3 limited vinyl editions: 300 numbered blue vinyl, 300 numbered green vinyl and 65 red & purple split vinyl including cd, poster and card. There is also a cd edition.

Video - Giorgos Panourgias

Takis has kindly answered a few questions for GREEKAZOID (in Greek the original answers adapted in English by GREEKAZOID):

Συνέντευξη με τον Τάκη Μπαρμπαγάλα - An interview with Takis Barbagalas

G: Phosphorus - Hesperus, Αυγερινός - Αποσπερίτης. Ο ήχος και οι συνθέσεις φέρνουν περισσότερο στο μυαλό τις μέρες των Will-Ο-the-wisp αλλά με ένα πιο ανοικτό και εξωστρεφή τρόπο. Πως προέκυψε αυτός ο δίσκος;

Phosphorus – Hesperus. The sound and compositions bring in mind the Will-O-the-wisp days but in a more extrovert way. How did this record come up?

TB: Η ιδέα για έναν instrumental δίσκο προέκυψε μετά την δημιουργία του τρίτου δίσκου των Will-O-the Wisp. Γι’ αυτό το λόγο στον τέταρτο δίσκο (A gift for your dreams) τα φωνητικά είναι περιορισμένα, ενώ τα μουσικά μέρη μεγαλύτερα. Η ίδια συνθήκη ίσχυσε και στα άλμπουμ των Manticore’s Breath. Μετά από αυτές τις παραγωγές θεώρησα ότι ήμουν πλέον έτοιμος για έναν instrumental δίσκο. Ο ήχος πλησιάζει περισσότερο στους Will-Ο-the-wisp, αφενός γιατί είναι ένας psych-prog δίσκος, αφετέρου γιατί δημιουργήθηκε από τους ίδιους συντελεστές. Η συνθετική λογική, η τεχνική και το κλίμα του δίσκου όμως διαφέρουν εντελώς, με το τελικό αποτέλεσμα να διαφοροποιείται αισθητά από τη δισκογραφία των Will-Ο-the-wisp.

The idea for an instrumental album evolved after the 3rd Will-O-the-wisp record. That’s why the 4th album (A gift for your dreams) had extended musical and less vocal parts. The same condition was also present in Manticore’s Breath albums. After these releases I considered myself ready for a full instrumental one. The sound is closer to Will-O-the-wisp as it is a psych-prog record created by the same band members. Yet the approach and technique behind the composition differ and so does the ambience, making the final outcome quite different from the Will-O-the-wisp discography.

G: Κάνεις τις παραγωγές των δίσκων σου, φροντίζεις τα εξώφυλλα, αλλάζεις συχνά εκφραστικά σχήματα αλλά δεν κάνεις live. Σου λείπει η επαφή με τον κόσμο; Σου γίνονται προτάσεις να παίξεις στο εξωτερικό;

You produce your records, design the covers, change frequently expressive vehicles but hardly do any live performance. Do you miss this interaction with your audience?

TB: Τα τελευταία χρόνια, το ενδιαφέρον μου εστιάζεται ιδιαίτερα στη σύνθεση και στο studio. Ως προς το κομμάτι της δημιουργίας νομίζω πως αυτό με καλύπτει απόλυτα. Επίσης θεωρώ πως είναι λίγο δύσκολο να αποδοθεί στο live η όλη εικόνα, που έχω στο μυαλό μου. Ίσως στο μέλλον να κάνω ορισμένες επιλεκτικές εμφανίσεις. Όσον αφορά το artwork και την παραγωγή των δίσκων δίνω ιδιαίτερη σημασία στο να αποδοθεί το κλίμα του δίσκου με τον καλύτερο τρόπο και το τελικό αποτέλεσμα να φτάσει σ’ ένα υψηλό επίπεδο. 

These last years I am particularly interested in composing and working at studio. As of the creative part I am fully satisfied with this. I consider it difficult to make a live performance as I envision it.  Probably in the future we will do some selective appearances. As for the artwork and the production, they are of great significance to me in order to best support the music and achieve a high quality standard. 

G: Τι να περιμένουμε μετά; Δεύτερο προσωπικό, WOW, Manticore ή κάτι άλλο;

What to expect next? A second personal album, Will-O-the-wisp, Manticore’s Breath or other?

TB: Η επόμενη κυκλοφορία θα είναι ένας δεύτερος προσωπικός δίσκος, κατά πάσα πιθανότητα instrumental. Υπάρχουν ήδη δύο συνθέσεις έτοιμες και ηχογραφημένες.

The next release will be a second personal album, probably instrumental. Two compositions are already finalized and recorded. 

G: Έχεις κάποιο "τρελό" μουσικό όνειρο που θα ήθελες να πραγματοποιήσεις κάποτε;

Do you have a “wild” music dream you want to make true at some point?

TB: Νομίζω πως μετά από τόσα χρόνια και τόσους δίσκους έχω πραγματοποιήσει αρκετά από τα τρελά μουσικά μου όνειρα, μέσα από τα οποία αποβλέπω σε μία συνεχή μουσική εξέλιξη.

I think after all those years and records I have fulfilled many of my wild music dreams, through which I aim at a continuous musical evolution.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Two of the best 2015 albums

Moa Bones’ second album, Spun, is a fine blend of American music (past and contemporary) with some great songs and a lo-fi production that brings out the very essence of the songs.

Moa Bones is the personal vehicle of Dimitris Aronis, singer and guitarist of Modrec.

Dimitris has recorded everything in his home studio and produced the album which was released by InnerEar.

Moa Bones - The Journey (Spun, 2015)

Thee Holy Strangers have a roster of members coming from Last Drive, Dustbowl, Make Believe, The Earthbound among others.

Their most renowned member, Alexis Kalofolias (Alex K) singer and bass player of Last Drive and The Earthbound, has written the songs of their debut album.

The album was released by their own company Holy Stranger Music in just 300 cd.

Thee Holy Strangers - Silver Lake (Thee Holy Strangers, 2015)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


GREEK-A-ZOID Radio is now live!
All the music of the blog and more. 
Users of iOS and Android may install the Radionomy app and search for GREEKAZOID radio station. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Works of a man (Man + oeuvres)

Manoeuvres is “a collection of recovered movements of a decade” as described by Tom Kazas.
11 instrumentals written between 1995 and 2005, a collection of alternate mixes, sketches, film music and out takes claiming their right to be one piece of work.

Tom has worked on post production and this shows.
The album flows nicely from the opening track Sixes and Sevens – with the Greek element being present again – check previous post here – to the final experiment of Persistence of Paint.

The value of Manoeuvres lies in the possibilities they imply. It is like a segue in Tom’s ergography, to make the smooth transition to the future, to evolution.

You could be sky

The first if

listen to the album here

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Great Voices

This is the first recording of Kouky Marakis, a singer born in Egypt. 
The single Say you love me/You’re one hell of a lady (both songs are written by William Sheller) was released in 1969 and from the sleeve notes we read that Marakis’ voice can be compared to the greatest singers of his time. Indeed.

Kouky Marakis - Say you love me (1969)

Tassos Papastamatis was the singer of Forminx
Here he sings Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps for the TV Show “From grandfather to grandson” hosted by composer George Mouzakis. Selected songs from the show were released as a record in 1976.

Tassos Papastamatis - Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps (1976)

Friday, May 29, 2015


Italo-disco emerged in the late 70s, early 80s. During the 80s there were several Greek artists who contributed a bunch of worth mentioning songs (or even whole albums) to the genre. The same artists became the major entertainers/songwriters/producers/singers in the 90s, leaving the English lyrics in favor of Greek and re-starting their careers mostly with local focus.

Costas Charitodiplomenos managed to have a successful presence in European charts from 1983 till 1987 when he shifted focus to the local market. He is one of the pioneers of the Greek Italo-disco sound, with good compositions and great production.
What you gonna do” comes from his first LP Itchika of 1983. The song was released as a single too under the name 141 G.

Side B of the single one would find the dub version of the song which in 2012 was included in compilation: Into The Light: A Journey Into Greek Electronic Music, Classics & Rarities (1978 - 1991).

Sunday Club was another group that stood out.
They only released one LP produced by Vasilis Dertilis, another master of the italo sound.
The band offered a couple of singles before their leader left to follow a solo career.

Here’s “Lies” from their 1984 LP For Sale.

Scraptown started as a ska/reggae/blue soul group in 1982 to become another italo-disco act with their third album and Viva Sahara single before that.
The song was a hit in many European countries in 1984. .
They split in 1985.
Besides their contribution to the italo-disco genre, their first album (Scraptown 1982) is a ska/reggae masterpiece.

Here’s Viva Sahara (1984).

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Dragon is Dancing

A great psychedelic song from Jimmie Spheeris’ 3rd album with same name (1975).
Spheeris, who died at the age of 34 in a motorcycle accident, was the brother of director Penelope Spheeris and cousin of director Costa Gavras and musician Chris Spheeris.
He released 4 albums and finished recordings of a 5th one just before he died.
He collaborated with many famous artists one of them being Chick Corea who plays piano and moog on The Dragon is Dancing song. Enjoy! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

"I'm not worried about the political situation in Greece"

Almost half a century ago the Beatles wanted to buy a Greek island and live there to escape from the pressure fame brings along. And they were close. Alexis Mardas (aka Magic Alex) prepared the deal but it was not meant to happen.

"We're all going to live there, perhaps forever, just coming home for visits. Or it might just be six months a year. It'll be fantastic, all on our own on this island. There some little houses which we'll do up and knock together and live communally.
I'm not worried about the political situation in Greece, as long as it doesn't affect us
I don't care if the government is all fascist, or communist. I don't care. They're all as bad as here; worse, most of them. I've seen England and the USA, and I don't care for either of their governments. They're all the same. Look what they do here. They stopped Radio Caroline and tried to put the Stones away while they're spending billions on nuclear armaments and the place is full of US bases that no one knows about."

John Lennon Anthology

George Harrison - Greece (from Gone Troppo lp - 1982)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Enduring Days

Some of the best of 2014:

Produced by Alan Parsons and mixed in Abbey Road studios, Electric Litany’s second album, Enduring Days You Will Overcome, takes the lo-fi poetry of the group to another level.
The group has a unique sound combining new wave, electronic and indie music with an echo of the byzantine and Ionian musical tradition.

Electric Litany - Feather of Ecstasy

They call their music “drone’n’roll”.
Mechanimal’s second album, Secret Science, continues to explore the obscurity of urban life in the years of crisis.
Rough, industrial and human, their music brings the local madness to a global audience.

Mechanimal - Secret Science

After many collaborations, personal albums and production projects, Coti K releases his masterpiece under the name The Man From Managra.
Listening to his music generates a euphoric feeling similar to the one created by Brian Eno and John Cale’s Wrong Way Up album.

The Man From Managra - The Well

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...