This special bundle collects all chapters in the Tasos Stamou trilogy of LPs issued by Discrepant and Ikuisuus, namely the following:
- Antiqua Graecia (Ikuisuus, 2021)
- D-A-D (Discrepant, 2019)
- Musique Con Crete (Discrepant, 2018)
Antiqua Graecia (2021)
In addition to its deep investment in the notion of progress, experimental music is a territory of creative expression that searches for something fundamental through sound; a music that speaks to and seeks the root of who we are. Across his recent albums, the London based Greek composer, Tasos Stamou, has mined this rich and complex balance, looking toward the future through a series of electroacoustic compositions that channel the long musical history and culture of Greece. His latest, Antiqua Graecia, is the third in a stunning trilogy exploring the subject. Delving into deeply abstract territories, threaded by a startling sense of imagism that intertwines multiple pathways of creativity, culture, and temporality, the album unveils a singular artist voice working in our midst, while elevating the scope of electroacoustic practice to remarkable heights.
Since first emerging during the mid-2000s, Tasos Stamou - a composer, performer, instrument maker, and sound based technologist - has developed a fascinatingly unique vision of live and recorded electroacoustic composition, cultivating long-form works through a “portable electroacoustic music studio” that utilises acoustic sources - prepared zither, reeds, recorders, objects - and handmade electronics, modular synthesizers, and processed feedback loops. Constructed from sustained tonal textures and improvised instrumental solos that draw on numerous musical traditions - free improvised music, musique concrète, noise & drone, folklore and ritual/tribal music - his efforts present the atmosphere of ritual noise, while channeling deeply personal experiences relating to a given space or place.
Antiqua Graecia, the third in a series of albums by Stamou to directly confront the subject of his home country, elevates this practice to new heights. Comprising of electroacoustic compositions of startling density and richness - drawing on original acoustic recordings and electronic experiments and synthetic compositions - the album weaves striking impressions that inexplicably captures the essence and narratives of the Greek rural countryside within its deeply abstract depths. With references of antique folk instruments and voices embedded in the textures, tones, and atmospheres generated by analogue synthesizers and computer music structures, the album evolves into striking, almost collage like forms of a surreal fairytale, push forward with radical enthusiasms that bristle at the borders defined by the mid-20th century avant-garde.
An immersive and fascinating world of its own, it’s hard to call to mind anything in the contemporary landscape of experimental music that’s quite like Stamou’s Antiqua Graecia. With sounds that call up images of the ancient world, the present, and what has yet to be seen, the album reminds us of the vast possibilities presented by electronic practice as a vehicle for the exploration of social and cultural identity. Issued on vinyl by Ikuisuus in a very limited edition of 300 copies, we can’t possibly recommend it enough.
** Edition of 300 ** Antiqua Graecia is the third of the Tasos Stamou's trilogy of electroacoustic compositions inspired by Greek music culture. It comes to complete a vinyl trilogy of Greek-based themes by capturing the essence of the rural mainland countryside. With a title is taken from an old Italian gravure map, this album combines original acoustic recordings and highly electronic experiments and synthetic compositions, creating an abstract surreal music fairytale. While references of antique folk instruments and voices are present all across the album, the narrative is also conducted by the presence of analogue synthesizers and computer music structures, reassembling the pieces of the originals to a new music collage.
Maybe it’s too much to ask for a moment of your attention. As we grow older and keep diving into this era of information, disinformation, fake news and all that, we also tend to take a step back and listen to the intents of those social media adverts that tell us to slow down, breathe in, breathe out, enjoy everything around you a little bit. So, if it’s not too much to ask, you can press play and start enjoying D-A-D. If you’re doing that, you can even stop reading this, because you don’t need further instructions.
It’s the second time in less than two years that we release music from London based Greek musician Tasos Stamou (Athens, 1978). The wordplay of Musique Con Crète (CREP54, 2018) was a backdoor to an adventurous and ‘concrete’ experience with sound. D-A-D follows up on that. Recorded between 2015-2018 as an homage to both his Dad and the more commonly used tuning on the Greek Bouzouki, D-A-D, Stamou delivers 40 minutes of music that explores ancient and modern languages, while crossing his unique instrumentation with celebrations of new / old folk, field recordings and electronics. In his music, there’s a constant flow of ideas that defy standard tonalities and the conception of “traditional”.
Improvisation was the starting point for the creation of some of the nine pieces Tasos Stamou wrote for D-A-D. The electronics often serve to interact with field recordings that are wisely manipulated, while acoustic instruments, like a Bouzouki, build up the connection with the tradition and the necessity to slow down.
With his unique atmospheres, Tasos is whispering some life hacks to build a better life. Nowadays, it’s quite rare for a record to organize the way the listener wants to listen to music, to sounds. D-A-D creates a beautiful systematization between old and new, folk/traditional music and the technology in sound. There’s – still - some boldness in that.
Musique Con Crete (2018)
Starting with an artist residency Tasos Stamou visited the Greek island over the course of three summers, collecting field recordings, performing with local musicians, producing electronic compositions and gathering old records and tapes of traditional music of the region. The project resulted in the assembling of a unique sound collage which reflects his personal experience as a music visitor to this part of the Mediterranean. Tasos Stamou is an electroacoustic music composer, performer, alternative music technologist, and tutor.
During a decade of sound performances and recordings Tasos Stamou developed a unique style of live electroacoustic composition. Long and continuous pieces are created live using a "portable electroacoustic music studio". His gear consists of acoustic (prepared strings, reeds, objects) and electronic instruments (handmade electronics, modular synthesizer systems soft synths).
Based on sustained tonal textures and free improvised instrumental solos, his live compositions create a particular and unique atmosphere of ritual noise. Artwork by Tasos Stamou. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Edition of 300.