70’s sound and chaotic spirit in an absolute utopian album. Great crystal sound, with many space folk themes, trippy flutes, majestic female vocals, dreamy child voice, native instruments & sounds, heavy dope psych melodies & more…
Hmmm… absolute utopian… space folk… trippy flutes… heavy dope psych… Sounds interesting. However, as a copywriter by profession I have my doubts. Does the product really live up to the colourful sales copy?
I don’t know, maybe it does. To some extent at least. And it really doesn’t matter because the music is good. Actually surprisingly good for a low-budget private release.
Officially ”Ta Paichnidia tou Iliou” (”Tricks of the Sun”) is an obscure Greek band project. On the other hand it can also be seen as a solo album by Spiros Rouchotas who has written all the music and plays most of the instruments on these recordings. He’s also responsible for the Greek language lyrics, written together with Nancy Fanouriou. The album was recorded already in 2007 but wasn’t released until 2009 in a limited edition of 300 numbered copies only.
The opening track ”Ra” begins with a meditative synthesizer-flute intro, growing rapidly into hypnotic psychedelia with lots of flute and keyboards plus some great speechless female vocals. Although the instrumentation may be a bit different, the result reminds me of ”A Saucerful of Secrets” era Pink Floyd – thanks to the simple but highly effective bass riff. Instead of an ’exploding-the-head climax’ ”Ra” closes gently and totally unexpectedly with some Fripp & Eno-style ambient.
Besides Pink Floyd and Fripp & Eno ”Ra” brings back memories of Nik ’Hawkwind’ Turner’s ”Xitintoday” and mid 70’s Tangerine Dream albums. Also echoes of Aphrodite’s Child’s magnificent ”666” double are evident, more or less. But! Despite of all my personal ’visions from the past’ speculations ”Ra” is a truly great and original enough piece of work. It really is!
The other four tracks on the album are all also very nice. Not quite as good as ”Ra” though.
What I really like about the album is the clear sound and sparse production. Although most of the instruments are played by Spiros, the benefits of multitracking have been used wisely, in good taste.
I should think that commercially thinking ”Ta Paichnidia tou Iliou” isn’t exactly a goldmine. It may take some time before Spiros gets his money back. However, on the artistic level he must feel so encouraged and pleased that a new album is already long in process. At least I dare to hope so…
By the way, ”Ta Paichnidia tou Iliou” isn’t the first recording project Spiros became involved in. Already in 1996 he recorded a single ”Traveller” / ”Like an Eagle” with a band called Dedalos. Both tracks are perfectly ok – flute and guitar driven heavy prog with Greek language lyrics and a healthy garage band attitude. The single was released in 2004 in a limited edition of 500 numbered copies.
Ta Paichnidia tou Iliou ”Same”, Private pressing PD 002, 2009, LP (only) Dedalos ”Traveller” / ”Like an Eagle”, Private pressing PD 001, 2004, single
For more info and sound samples, please see http://dedalospsych.blogspot.com/. There you can also order both records.