The journey of Dimitris Mystakidis in rembetiko music has been long and fruitful, since it resulted in six masterful albums of old songs that gained a new breath with his bold arrangements and his skilful rembetiko guitar (laikí kithara) playing.
In his new album titled “Morso”, the first full-length release with his own songs, Dimitris Mystakidis infuses the heritage of rembetiko and Greek traditional music to eleven brand new songs, reimagining an entire tradition. The folk backbone of the album is melding with the industrial percussions, dreamy psychedelic sonic textures and electric instruments, creating a kaleidoscopic but seamless mashup that travels from smoky tavernas to the sound of bustling city streets.
The folk instruments from the Mediterranean basin, like bouzouki, laikí kithara (rembetiko guitar), bagpipe, clarinet, ney and cura are soulfully interacting with the electric guitars, bass and drums in order to highlight the dark emotions in most of the songs.
Dimitris’s lyrics, like a musical protest are narrating tales of the social wildness, of injustice, of gender-based violence, of xenophobia and exclusion. In the first ten songs of Morso, Dimitris is sharing his anger, despair and sorrow, while in the last swing-ish track, he playfully derides the apathy of the system during these challenging times.
Eleni Vitali and Martha Frintzila, two of the most prominent vocalists, are participating in two of the album tracks. Avgerini Gatsi is the back vocalist in track 11.
The participating musicians (in alphabetical order): Alexis Apostolakis (drums in 11), Christos Papadopoulos (clarinet in 11), Dimitris Tsekouras (double bass in 3, 9, 10), Giannis Antoniadis (clarinet in 8), Harris Lambrakis (ney in 3), Ilias Katsianos (electric guitar in 2), Iraklis Vavatsikas (accordion in 10), Konstantis Pistiolis (bagpipe in 2), Kostas Mitropoulos (manouche guitar in 11), Manolis Pappos (bouzouki in 10), Nikos Tatasopoulos (bouzouki in 9), Sakis Karakostas (violin in 2), Thanasis Archaniotis (drums in 3, 4, 9), Vaggelis Karipis (percussions in 2, 8), Vasilis Bacharidis (drums in 1, 2, 6, 7, 10).
Mixing by Giannis Tavoularis (3, 4, 8, 10), Giannis Paxevanis (5), Dimitris Mystakidis (11) and Titos Kargiotakis – Christos Charbilas (1, 2, 6, 7, 9).
Mastering by Titos Kargiotakis and Christos Charbilas at Royal Alzheimer Studio.
Artwork by Victor Gountaras, Studio Hervik.
Released by Fishbowl Music Tank.
December 5, 2022
* Morso: connective link
In carpentry, it is a traditional way of joining two pieces of wood together, without the use of other materials (screws, nails, etc). It is used in quality furniture manufacturing, noted for its durability, craftsmanship, quality in construction and the decorative value it adds to the furniture.
In luthiery, it is the way of joining the arm with the body of the instrument.