Music

Dave Seaman: Audio Therapy Presents Across Borders: Greece

Cosmo Lee

This is a collection of fine, very British progressive house that happens to come from Greece.


Dave Seaman

Audio Therapy Presents Across Borders: Greece

Label: Audio Therapy
US Release Date: 2005-09-13
UK Release Date: 2005-07-04
Amazon affiliate
Amazon
iTunes

Dave Seaman knows a thing or two about dance music talent. He was the first editor of the seminal dance music magazine Mixmag and co-founded Stress Records, the enormously influential progressive house label that helped launch the careers of Sasha and Digweed. As a DJ, he's headlined clubs worldwide and done production work for Kylie Minogue and the Pet Shop Boys. Wherever he goes, budding producers hand him CD-R's, hoping for a lucky break. Seaman could easily hoard this unreleased material as exclusives for his DJ sets. Instead, his Audio Therapy label is releasing a series of compilations featuring up-and-coming producers from specific countries and regions. Audio Therapy Presents Across Borders: Greece is the first in this series.

Although this compilation is unmixed, it is sequenced like a DJ set. The CD starts slowly, and builds and builds, peaking near the end. The production throughout has enough depth to carry eight-minute tracks, but the deft sequencing makes the compilation an enjoyably coherent whole.

Listeners with Greece in mind may be startled by the female vocal that begins the CD in English: "Just close your eyes and dream / Send your love from within". Thankfully, the track doesn't descend into trance-y hippie sentiment. Instead, producer G Pal rolls out a stately 120 bpm house workout, the kind that Leftfield did so well back in the day. Dousk's "Bummer" follows, a perfect transition track -- it's a dubby, basic groove that never resolves and begs to be mixed with something else. The pace picks up with Viton & KST's "Yes, I See" and Phatjak's "Supermarket", Giorgio Moroder-esque electro-disco tunes that would fit well on Ghostly International. The compilation detours through the emotive breaks of Christian Cambas's "Paramount" before continuing its climb through the progressive house of Tonedepth's "Everything" and V-Sag's "I Wasn't Impressed Enough".

The next two tracks are the peak of the CD. With its pumping bassline, rock guitars, and echoing melodies, Stel & Good Newz' "Exactly What You Wanted" is a dance version of Joshua Tree-era U2. The tune is a hands-in-the-air anthem, but the roof truly rises with Nick & John Dalagelis's "Quiet (Steve Is Listening)". It's a dark ride through a futuristic pinball machine, with bleeps, whirs, whooshes, and gloriously retro 808 cowbells. The CD then closes with the ultra-compressed Casio tones of Kosmas Epsilon's "Ill Ssa" (were the kicks meant to be that flat-sounding?).

There's not much Greek about this compilation; only the occasional Mediterranean acoustic guitar gives any regional flavor. Of course, bouzoukis and baglamas aren't necessary to convey "Greekness". But with their spacy melodies and club-friendly grooves, these tunes could have come from anywhere; this is a collection of fine, very British progressive house that happens to come from Greece. It will be interesting to see if future CDs in this series uncover any truly local sounds.

7

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image