CD Rembetika 2: More of the Secret History of Greece's Underground Music [Box] (CD 1165818), Audio Other
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Rembetika 2: More of the Secret History of Greece's Underground Music [Box]

  • 1. Tchakidji Turkessou - Haim Effendi
    2. Smyneiko Minore
    3. Tsifte-Telli, Tha Spaso Koupes - Elliniki Estoudiandina
    4. Smyrneikos Manes - Yiangos Psomathianos
    5. Shed Araban Taksim - Melkon Alemsherian
    6. To Salepi - Theodhoros Mytilineos
    7. Dhen Mou Lete to Hasisi Pou Pouliete
    8. Pergamia - Alexis Zoumbas
    9. Karsilamas Tekirdag - Cavadhias Popular Orchestra
    10. Mes 'Tou Sygrou Tin Fylaki (In Sygrou Jail) - Marika Papagika
    11. Tsifte-Telli - Athanasios Makedonas
    12. Apo Kato Ap 'Tis Dhomates - Manolis Karapiperis/Yiannis Ioannidhis
    13. Pote Mavra Pote Aspra - George Katsaros
    14. Nei Hasiklidhes - Andonis Dalgas
    15. Karotsieris - Andonis Dalgas
    16. O Bochoris
    17. Tsifte-Teli Yiala - Andonis Dalgas
    18. To Hasisi - Savaris & Miliaris
    19. Ta Kounaga
    20. Beoglou Manes - Andonis Dalgas
    21. Manes Mahour - Marika Politissa
    22. Dou Dou - Panayiotis Tsoros
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Aptaliko Zeimbekiko - Ogdhondakis
    2. Manes Sabach - D. Arapakis
    3. Kaike Ena Scholio - A. Kostis
    4. Mytilinio Zeimbekiko - Popular Orchestra
    5. Kato Sto Yialo - E. "Vaggelakis" Sophroniou
    6. Ballos Tis Avyis - E. "Vaggelakis" Sophroniou
    7. Yiannis Hasiklis (Synchronich) - Yorgos Kamvisis
    8. To Marikaki - Kostas Roukounas
    9. Ap' Tin Porta Sou Perno
    10. Yeni Turk Zeybegi - Servet Hanim
    11. I Trata
    12. Ap 'Tin Poli Enas Mortis - Andonios Dhiamandidhis/Dalgas
    13. Merakli Rast Manes - Roza Eskenzai
    14. Binda Yiala - Roza Eskenzai
    15. To Baglamadhaki Spase - Andonis Dalgas
    16. Mourmouriko Zeimbekiko - John "Jack" Halikias
    17. Ap' Tou Memeti to Nero - Marika Frantzeskopoulou
    18. To Koutsavaki - Zacharas Kasimtis
    19. Ores Me Threfi O Loulas - Mrkos Vamvakris
    20. Zoi Ine Afti Zoitsa Mou - Rita Abadzi
    21. Argiles - Stellkis Perpinidhis
    22. Pou Ine Ta Chronia Ta Palia - Samiotis/Kostas Roukounas
    0. DISC 3:
    1. Manges Karavotsakismeni - Efstrtios Payiomidizs
    2. Elleni Mikropandremeni - Stellkis Perpinidhis
    3. Voliotissa - Roza Eskenzai
    4. Galata Manes - Aggelitsa Papazoglou
    5. Rast Mahour - Dimitris Atraidis
    6. O Stavrakas Mes' Ston Teke - Stavros Tsouras
    7. Bachrie Tsifte-Telli - Mario Salonikia
    8. To Sakkaki - Anestis Dhelias
    9. O Boufedzis - Yiorgios Batis
    10. To Barberaki - Yiorgios Batis
    11. Kaftone Stavro, Kaftone - Mrkos Vamvakris
    12. S'Ena Deke Skarosame - Yeoryia Mittaki
    13. Varvara - Stellkis Perpinidhis
    14. Sfouggaradhes - Efstrtios Payiomidizs
    15. I Eleni I Zondochira - Andonis Kalivopoulos
    16. M'Ena Kafedzi Blegmeni - George Katsaros
    17. Dhen Pavi Pia to Stoma Sou - Korrina Thessalonikia/Mrkos Vamvakris
    18. M' Eblexes Vre Poniri - Stratos Payioumtzis/Mrkos Vamvakris
    19. Mi Mou Les Pos Dhen Me Thelis - Samiotis/Kostas Roukounas
    20. Manes Hitzaskiar-Pireotikos - Stavros Remoundhos
    21. Manges Mou Symoforthite - Stellkis Perpinidhis
    22. Manes Rast Neva - Efstrtios Payiomidizs
    23. Ean Dhen Isoun Ftisikia - Tassia Vryoni/Stellios Keromytis
    24. M'Ekapses Skyla - Stellios Keromytis
    0. DISC 4:
    1. Parigoria Ta Matia Sou - Dhim. Roumeliotis
    2. Echo Vathia Ton Pono - Apstolos Hadzichrstos
    3. Tora Yirnas Stis Yeitonies - Stellkis Perpinidhis
    4. Dhen Se Thelo Pia - Stellkis Perpinidhis/Vassilis Tsitsnis
    5. Stis Salonikis Ta Stena - Efstrtios Payiomidizs/Vassilis Tsitsnis
    6. Kala Mou Topane Mario - Apstolos Hadzichrstos/Andonis Dalgas
    7. O Tsitsanis Sti Zoungla - Vassilis Tsitsnis
    8. Dhodheka I Ora - Vassilis Tsitsnis
    9. Levendikos Horos - Yiannis Papaiouannou
    10. Sklirokardhi - Daizy Stavropolou/Vassilis Tsitsnis
    11. To Tragoudhi Tis Agapis - Bayianderas/Emmanouil Hiotis
    12. Pio Pera Ap' to Zannio
    13. Dhen Vrethike Yiatros - Yiorgos Kavouras/Apstolos Hadzichrstos
    14. Ston Lofo Tou Skouze
    15. Dhespo
    16. Ta Tsaggarakia - Efstrtios Payiomidizs
    17. Koritsi Apono - Stratos Payioumtzis
    18. Tha Pao Na Ziso Sta Vouna - Daizy Stavropolou
    19. Hadzi Baxes - Vassilis Tsitsnis
    20. Ftochia - Apstolos Hadzichrstos
    21. Randevous San Perimeno - Nikos Vrachnas
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 77105

  • Credits

    Great Britain's JSP label took a chance in 2006 by issuing a four-disc overview of rembetika (the "officially designated" Greek underground and criminal communities) called Rembetika: Greek Music from the Underground. It was official because at one point in the 20th century, the music was actually officially banned by the Metaxas government (in 1937) and didn't peep above ground for another 11 years. (Gangster rappers and metalheads take heart: you were not the first nor will you be the last.) That set, like this one, appropriately titled Rembetika 2: More of the Secret History of Greece's Underground Music, included four CDs, all of which were annotated with fine notes, and production masters cleaned up as much as possible -- no easy feat since a lot of this music was originally released on either 78s or cylinders -- but some survived, amazingly, on recording tape. Charles Howard has done an excellent job of compiling and annotating this second box, and takes a different approach than on the first one. While the music was arranged according to the popularity, suppression, and eventual dissemination of rembetika on the first box, here the approach is strictly chronological, beginning with recordings made as early as 1908 and continuing until 1929.
    The music began to flourish in 1927 and gained an infamous notoriety by the time it was suppressed in 1937. The second disc here concentrates on the years when the style began to emerge as a mature musical form to the brink of its flowering as genuine popular music to be enjoyed not only in bars and other places of ill repute, but at home on the Victrola: 1929 to 1934. The music was nearly mainstream, despite its lyrics about sex, death, dope, and violence. This didn't make a whit of difference to its musicians and singers, who went about their lives as if they had never seen the embracing of the form, though, as is wont to happen when any record company comes sniffing around, "stars" of a fashion were made and recorded often. The third disc follows the trail of the years 1934 through the official crackdown in 1937, when lyrics, music, and singing styles began to make it so blatantly anti-authoritarian, the Metaxas power structure, pressured by Turkey, had no choice but to brand anyone playing rembetika as a subversive; this is the beginning of rembetika's return to the underground. Its origins are shrouded in mystery anyway, buried in the murky, cross-whispering cultures and folk styles of the middle 19th century where it had emerged as a coded speech for criminality. Beginning in 1937, all recording of rembetika was thought to have stopped because being caught singing, playing, or taping this music was punishable by prison. It never completely ceased, but became as hard to get as a gun in Canada. It existed solely in hashish houses, brothels, gambling and opium dens, and in other locales where hardened criminals congregated; it was recorded there or under cover of night in home fashioned studios. It returned to its dubious honor as the official folk form of the criminal class. The last disc offers proof of the kind of truly hardcore rembetika made during that suppression, as well as a kind of coded music that resembled it, and hinted at its gnarly and knotted roots and legendary origins.
    As fascinating as all this is, however, it's not what truly separates this box from its predecessor and makes it such a compelling and obsessive listen. The earliest music on this box isn't even from Greece! Rembetika wasn't recorded there until 1925, three years after refugees arrived in Greece from the Greek-Turkish war. The earliest music here comes from Constantinople and Smyrna, where traveling sound engineers from record companies did field recordings of the songs coming from the counterculture. They surfaced, as early as 1915 in the United States were attempts were being made to establish a market for rembetika among Greek immigrants. On the first volume here, accordions, balalaikas, fiddles, ouds, cembaloms, and above all, those deep mournful, defiant, and sadder than death vocals come wafting out, creating a stranger, more troublesome blues. The music on these sides is far more rare than what appears on the first box, and is rougher in sound quality in many places. It comes from sources where only a single copy is known to exist in a private or museum collection. That said, the power of these recordings is not diminished in the slightest. The hard research, and the painstaking mastering work is not the reason to snag this collection up. Indeed, the reason is, this is amazing music, haunted, hunted, and dangerous. It is akin to rock & roll or the Delta blues but doesn't sound anything remotely like them. This is otherworldly music drenched in emotions like sorrow, hatred, grief, and desire. This collection is as highly recommended, and perhaps more so, than its predecessor. ~ Thom Jurek

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