25 February 2009

Fantastikoi Hxoi - 2008 - Kyriaxoi Tou Sympantos

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5

This album comes to us via the rocky hills of Greece. Although I have no idea how to say their band name, I can say that this is a solid collection of music that needs more exposure. Throughout the span of this double album, Fantastikoi Hxoi sends us careening through shoegazing, metronomic kraut rock, straight-up psychedelia, and what I believe is a touch of Greek folk music. All of this is paired up with some pristine production that rarely sounds cheap and presents very professional sound textures. Texture is paramount here; there is not much in the way of pop song structure, and I see most of these tracks as sound paintings.

In all truthfulness, this is one of those double albums that would probably work better as one, but there are plenty of highlights to sink your teeth into. After a short intro, "Aggeloi" presents itself as a quintessential electronic shoegazing track. Also of note on the first disc is the Greek freak folk of "Mayrh Trypta," which eventually devolves (or evolves) into something Manuel Gottsching would have been proud of in the late 70's. "Morka" also stands out as the sort of electro-shoegazing track that Ulrich Schnauss is known for, but once again with an interesting Greek folk twist. The second disc is even better, with less filler hanging around. "Pyramida" makes an nod to lounge music while maintaining a Neu-worthy beat, while "H Palia Edem" entertains with some groovy percussion and oddly-reverbed chanting vocals. The closing track even inches towards a J-pop (as in Japanese) happiness while an 80's synth riff drives it on.

This may not be the best music you'll hear this year, but it will definitely rank at the top of your unsigned band lists. There are plenty of styles on Fantastikoi Hxoi's palette and they manage to mix them quite well for the most part. I'd love to see them focus their sound and hone their songwriting for the next album; the playing and textures are firmly in place now.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/193866973/FH_-_Kyriarxoi_Tou_Sympantos.part1.rar
http://rapidshare.com/files/193870577/FH_-_Kyriarxoi_Tou_Sympantos.part2.rar

Anonymous said...

Band name is pronounced: kyr'iarchi tou s'ympantos (' stands for an accent - the closest i could get to phonetic representation) meaning "masters of the universe", the album title is pronounced something like fantastik'i 'eehi simply meaning "fantastic sounds" or could be interpreted as "sounds of the fantasy". Well I admit I have never heard of this group, although I live in Athens, Greece.

Amberclock said...

I, on the other hand can add that it's quite not folk, instead being samples chosen from 60's to 70's Greek mainly pop songs, the music quality and importance of whose sarcastically ranges from high (Palia Edem) to low (Antrhwpe).

IMO, apart from being something for which this album qualifies as unique, it also acts to emphasize the whole concept of future retro, starting from the name of this project, that has a 60's quality to it, to the artwork of the album that especially gives this impression via its coloring.

Anonymous said...

great music, thank you!

thomas said...

this is a great album, thanks for putting it up

Georgie Hirezola said...

kinda strange...never heard about "Κυριαρχοι του Συμπαντος",here in Athens....
thnx a lot for this one!!1

Anonymous said...

http://fantastikoihxoi.blogspot.com/

:)

Dimi said...

agree with amberlock. great album!

spacefreak said...

I 'm deeply involved in the greek psych/prog/space rock underground as musician and record collector since the mid 70ies. Never heard of such band. For the record; KYRIARCHOI TOU SYMPANTOS = MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.

spacefreak said...

Well, I downloaded and listened. This album is a hoax and the "artist" could easily be a DJ with elementary knowledge of electronics. Sampled tracks from abominable 60ies greek pop songs with an added twist of modern electronica. I 'm bypassing this pseudo-spacey, wannabe kraut (what a sacrilege!) piece of scum.

Anonymous said...

Please reupload