Boomkat Product Review:
Greek-in-London, Tasos Stamou forges a beguiling and charmingly playful crossroads of traditional tunes and electronic abstraction in his 2nd side (in 2 years) for the wonderful Discrepant label. A massive tip to fans of Dariush Dolat-Shahi and Sote!
Riffing on ideas of provenance, ontology, and the nature of ancient and modern languages, Stamou’s ‘D-A-D’ is a fascinating exploration of roots and futurism written between 2015-2018 in homage to his father. As such, it’s wittily titled ‘D-A-D’ as a nod to both the commonly-used tuning of Greek Bouzoukis and his pops, and incorporates the instrument in a range of ways, from mesmerising acoustic recordings to electronically aided abstractions that recall Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s masterful mix of Sehtar and modular synth for Folkways in 1985 (as reissued by Dead-Cert Home Ents in 2015).
Unfolding in two seamless, side-long parts, Stamou is literally and figuratively stripped to the bare essense of what he considers important. Aye, that’s him starkers, clutching a Bouzouki on the back cover and also standing proudly in the buff on the inner sleeve. And they’re canny visual metaphors for the music, which Stamou playfully gathers from a mix of field recordings made at his Uncles’ house parties, in a Thessaloniki thrift shop, and at a “Gipsy clearance service” (whatever that is), and a Greek Orthodox mass, before adding disorienting layers of synthesis and electronic process in order to access and inhabit the recordings with his mischievous/savant spirit.
In his hands, the everyday and prosaic become illuminated as supernatural, and ancient tunings and tunes are subtly reanimated with extra, irisdescent, inter-dimensional layers. The mix of realism and hyperrealism is just deeply intoxicating to our ears, and perhaps most subtly and vitally revealing his musical sense of self as a product of environment and generative nurture.