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Contrarily to the rest of Tasos Stamou’s experimental discography, the musician’s latest album “Balkan Express” has a more obscure electro-folk approach. It consists of seven pieces, all recorded with seven different vintage electric keyboards from Stamou’s own collection, blended with oriental acoustic solos.
Since Stamou grew up in the Balkans in the ‘80s, he wanted to pay homage to the essence of the sound of the era that unintentionally shaped a whole culture. It was when these inexpensive, available-to-all electronic keyboards with synth sounds and drum machines replaced traditional Balkan folk music ensembles. The acoustic instruments solos and melodies of the album were influenced by local traditions and the heritage of the Ottoman music.
“Balkan Express” is meant to be a time capsule taking the listener to the folk-wave retro-Balkan subculture.
Tasos Stamou is an electroacoustic music composer and performer, alternative electronic instrument maker, instructor and sound technician. He explores the gap between ancient and contemporary transcendental music, using both traditional and advanced media.
For 10 years, he has been performing and recording, developing a unique style of live electroacoustic composition. His long pieces are created in situ, using his “portable electroacoustic music studio”, made of acoustic and electronic instruments for sustained tonal textures and free improvised instrumental solos, creating a unique ritual atmosphere.
He mainly performs and records solo, but he frequently collaborates with other artists at venues and festivals to create more innovative music. He is currently in charge of a workshop series exploring circuit bending and hardware hacking for experimental sound production.
released June 19, 2022
Compositions, recordings, vintage electronic keyboards,
Greek bouzouki, Turkish saz by Tasos Stamou
Oud & santour by Dario Papavassiliou
Recorded in London between 2015-2020
Front cover photograph by Katrin Binner (object from Tasos Stamou collection)
Back cover photograph by Tasos Stamou (train from Thessaloniki to Sofia)
It's extremely rare that music actually 'infects' me - gets into my head, stays & takes me away to faraway places & cultures. This album does all of the above - it's really, really great, I can't help but start movin' when I hear it!...just press play yourself!.... PadraigC
Promises is a wild adventure of developing sounds of minimalist ambient and third stream jazz fusing together. That may sound pretentious, but trust me this is worth your time! Everyone plays so beautifully here and I’m very happy that this was Sanders’ last piece of work because he put so much into this swansong of a composition! Rest in power Pharoah Sanders AliceDreadfuls