Ah, Panos! NOT QUITE a collection of unreleased material from George Michael’s early Wham!-era alias, but a mahooossive, unhinged compound of sound works and underground folk manipulations from a land far from rainy London, one where the tomatoes taste like tomatoes and the beer is cold proper.
Yeah endless cheers for Greece over here, to which we can now add this untold toss-up of adventures in glass-dancing, live percussion works with the likes of the mighty Mike Cooper and the glowing Balkan folk pieces that are subtly treated and overdubbed with all sorts of earthly and oddball techniques - culminating in a previously unchartered, mind-scrambler session deeper than the Aegean sea! More specifically (sorta), in amongst this beast you’ll find private press, voice-o-graph captured stories of immigration from the 1950s carefully placed amidst recordings of country festivals, as well as the GHOSTLY product of some gentle editing of excerpts from regional songbooks. Often fronted by the ancient wisdom of a rasping clarinet, bouzouki shredded myths or THAT limb-seizing lute that rolls over yah like a petrifying fog, leaving you fossilised on the streets of a sleeping city waiting for the Mediterranean sun to rise and warm those stoney ol’ bones.
Can’t crack what’s more impressive about this yin. Across the eighteen tracks Charalampous goads musical evolution with the utmost candour through the introduction of his various experiments, as well as rumbling his way through barrels upon barrels of forgotten styles that bare the very flesh and blood and nerves of traditional Greek music - all now cast deep in the hefty triple gatefold, essay cradling surfaces and 2xLP brain-boggling atmospheres of “An Eagle Was Standing”. Hectic, visionary gear!