Greek Punk Mixtape

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A few months ago MRR Radio asked me to do a guest show for them focusing on Greek punk. Based on that, I figured i would do a mixtape with some of my personal favourite Greek punk tracks from 1983 to 2016. You can listen to that radio show below.


As for the tapes: Final wholesale orders went out today (12/4/17) and I will try and do another run of 100 or so tapes after the summer – maybe get a bunch made in the UK as well – I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can get copies, while they last, at the below distros.

For copies, visit:

Static Shock Musik in Berlin, Germany

Trapdoor in Münster, Germany

Kostas in Stockholm, Sweden (garidisk@gmail.com)

Juan Carlos in Texas, USA (thisisaustin.not.that.great@gmail.com)

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If you like what you hear, consider checking out the bands online and buying their records or going to their shows. Greece is not the easiest place to get to (or leave!) and we always enjoy and appreciate the international connection! I am not in Athens at the moment, but am working on a post for punks who are traveling here with some ideas for things to do and places to see, so stray tuned for that too at some point.

Until the next episode of Storm Stereo, coming soon, go here to check out previous episodes, or go here to download MP3s of both Storm Stereo shows and the Greek Punk Mixtape. Please note the MP3s and the mixtape tracks are not exactly the same, and not in the exact same order, but it’s basically the same set of songs. Either way, MP3 tracklisting follows below.

If you have any questions about this tape, the radio show, Greek punk or anything in between, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at lydia_ath@yahoo.co.uk.

Until next time, stay posi, stay strong! With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

GREEK PUNK MIXTAPE – SIDE A

METRO DECAY – Kimília / Remnants (1983)

EX-HUMANS – Enófeli Epivíosi / Pointless Survival (1984)

ΣΤΡΕΣΣ / STRESS – ‘Anghos / Stress (1985)

ΑΔΙΕΞΟΔΟ / ADIEXODO – Soundtrack yia Odomahíes / Soundtrack for Street Fighting (1985)

ΓΕΝΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΧΑΟΥΣ / CHAOS GENERATION – Kinoniká Ypoproiónta / Social Byproducts (1985)

ANTI… – ‘Anthropi Fytá / Human Plants (1986)

ΟΡΑ ΜΗΔΕΝ / ORA MIDEN – Thánato stus Piités / Death to Poets (1988)

ΟΡΑ ΜΗΔΕΝ / ORA MIDEN – Mona Liza (1989)

ΝΑΥΤΙΑ / ΝΑUSEA – Hrysí Neoléa / Golden Youth (1989)

GULAG – Apología / Apology (1989)

ΧΟΑΤΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΣΤΑΣΗ / CHAOTIC DIMENSION – Kommatiká Exartiméni / Political Party Dependant (1993)

ΠΙΣΣΑ ΚΑΙ ΠΟΥΠΟΥΛΑ / PISSA KE POUPOULA – Xypnáte, Pethéno! / Wake UP, I’m Dying! (1993)

PANX ROMANA – Synágermos / Alarm (1993)

ΧΑΟΤΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΣΤΑΣΗ / CHAOTIC DIMENSION – Tréxe / Run (1996)

ΟΡΕΞΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΙΠΟΤΑ / OREXI YA TIPOTA – Korítsi Viázi Agóri / Girl Rapes Boy (1997)

FREE YOURSELF – Ethismós / Addiction (GULAG cover, 199?)

GREEK PUNK MIXTAPE – SIDE B

ΟΡΕΞΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΙΠΟΤΑ / OREXI YA TIPOTA – Gnísios ‘Ellinas tu 2000 (1997)

VODKA JUNIORS – Athens (2001)

ΧΕΙΜΕΡΙΑ ΝΑΡΚΗ / HIBERNATION – Yálini Mitrópoli / Metropolis of Glass (2000)

GO FILTH GO – Future No! (2010)

LAST BREATH – ‘Ιsos Miá Méra  / Maybe One Day (2010)

ΠΑΝΔΗΜΙΑ / PANDIMIA  – Vasílio tis Parakmís / Kingdom of Decline (2010)

ANTIMOB – Dógma (2012)

ΟΔΟΣ 55 / ODOS 55 – Attiki Victoria (2012)

ERA OF FEAR – Mizéria (2013)

GUTTER – No Chances, No Choices (2013)

DIRTY WOMBS – Derail (2014)

YOUTH CRUSHER – Incurable (2016)

ΧΩΡΙΣ ΟΙΚΤΟ / HORIS IKTO – Argós Thánatos / Slow Death (2016)

 

A Brief History of Greek Punk for MRR Remote Radio

As promised, I prepared a special edition of Maximum Rocknroll Remote Radio, introducing you to a brief history of Greek punk from 1983 to the year 2000. Nowhere near enough time to play everything and talk about each band – let alone discuss context, history and perspectives – in just 60 minutes, but my plan is to do another Greek special again soon. Until then, you can read a bit more about Greek punk here. If you feel like exploring, go to anexartisi.gr where you’ll find an almost exhaustive list of Greek punk bands, past and present (info is in Greek, but it’s a fantastic resource none the less). For further reference, see also these labels: Wipe Out!, B-Other Side, Enigma, Creep.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:00:18 — 82.9MB)

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You can check out the MRR radio show page here and don’t forget to subscribe to MRR and, if you can, donate to support the world’s longest-running, all-volunteer run, hella rad punk zine, radio and archive.

In other news, an ULTRA interview will soon be in MRR – check it out, and listen to their music here. Until next time, stay posi (it’s hard, I know, but we gotta do our best) and take care of yourselves and those you love. Life is fucking short.

With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

Intro song:
ADIEXODO (Dead End) – Soundtrack for Street Fighting / ΑΔΙΕΞΟΔΟ – Σάουντρακ για Οδομαχίες

I AM YOUR NIGHTMARE
METRO DECAY – Remnants / Κειμήλια
EX-HUMANS – Pointless Survival / Ανώφελη Επιβίωση
STRESS – Anxiety / ΣΤΡΕΣΣ – Άγχος

CHAOS, NO HOPE
GENIA TOU CHAOUS (Chaos Generation) – No Hope / ΓΕΝΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΧΑΟΥΣ – Καμιά Ελπίδα
ΑΝΤΙ… – Human Vegetables / ‘Ανθρωποι Φυτά
ORA MIDEN (Zero Hour) – Death to Poets / ΟΡΑ ΜΗΔΕΝ – Θάνατο Στους Ποιητές
GULAG – Big Talk / ΓΚΟΥΛΑΓΚ – Μόνο Λόγια

MISERY, ROUTINE, THE SAME OLD STORY
NAFTIA (Nausea) – Golden Youth / ΝΑΥΤΙΑ – Χρυσή Νεολαία
KINKING APOVLITA? (Social Waste?) – Death Youth / ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΚΑ ΑΠΟΒΛΗΤΑ; – Νεκρή Νεολαία
ANTIDRASI (Reaction) – State of Danger / ΑΝΤΙΔΡΑΣΗ – Κατάσταση Κινδύνου
PANIKOS (Panic) – Lias / ΠΑΝΙΚΟΣ – Ψεύτες

NEGATIVE END
CHAOTIKO TELOS (Chaotic End) – We Live in the Dark / ΧΑΟΤΙΚΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ – Ζούμε Στο Σκοτάδι
ARNITIKI STASI (Negative Stance) – Pandora’s Box / ΑΡΝΗΤΙΚΗ ΣΤΑΣΗ – Κουτί της Πανδώρας
HIBERNATION – Glass Metropolis / ΧΕΙΜΕΡΙΑ ΝΑΡΚΗ – Γυάλινη Μητρόπολη

YOUR VOTE IS YOUR PUNISHMENT
CHAOTIKI DIASTASI (Chaotic Dimension) – Politically Dependent / ΧΑΟΤΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΣΤΑΣΗ – Κομματικά Εξαρτημένοι
OREXI GIA TIPOTA (In The Mood for Nothing)- Girl Rapes Boy / ΟΡΕΞΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΙΠΟΤΑ – Κορίτσι Βιάζει Αγόρι
FREE YOURSELF – Addiction / Εθισμός (GULAG cover)

Outro song:
PANX ROMANA – Alarm / Συναγερμός

Year End Top 10: 2016

Another year is gone and a new one is already here and, as tradition has it among list-makers, music-lovers, record collectors and obsessive freaks like me, the yearly Top 10 beckons. I had originally said to myself I wouldn’t compile one – most of these records have already been written about a lot (they deserve it after all) and I can’t say I had the time or mental capacity to keep track and listen to every new release like I used to other years. That’s also because I mainly jammed Molly Nilsson’s “Mountain Time” and this song on repeat. However, the lovely Lughole punks asked me if I wanted to write a few words for a retrospective zine they’re putting together (stay up to date on that here) and, well, I couldn’t say no. So, for the record, here are eleven (because life is too short to confine yourself to ten) records I got most excited about in 2016; an extended ‘Punk in 2016’ playlist will soon follow with many more bands that came near and dear to my heart. Thanks to all the bands and labels that made 2016 a bit more tolerable. Fully biased reviews in alphabetical order.

a2111924034_10ANXIETY – S/T MLP (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Seriously, what can I say that would be worthy? Call me weak or a weirdo, but I physically had trouble listening to this record without falling into a neurotic pit of existential angst followed by breathless euphoric nihilism – it’s that good. It’s a challenge from start to finish and I love that in a record, even if it does mean locking myself in the house for the day as a result. It’s angular and uncomfortable, musically uncompromising, emotionally confrontational, psychologically haunting, crudely honest, manically unafraid while introspectively reflective and I feel the meta image of a broken mirror within a mirror within a frame fits in somewhere here but honestly… I don’t feel I can write about this record, my jumbled stream-of-consciousness just doesn’t do them the justice they deserve and there is surely a lot that can be written about this band – their sound and imagery, their outlook and output – and there have been numerous, better written pieces about them and you should read those. However I feel the ingenious band name encompasses and compounds it all much better. Their choice of name alone, and an analysis of their lyrics, could easily spawn a 2,000-word essay on the meaning, use, decomposition and reconstruction of language in post-modern underground music counterculture. They push buttons and boundaries, exploring new ground while staying true to their inner freak power that fuels this stunning, beautifully unnerving concoction of stress-and-release. I first saw them live in March and to this day remember how utterly inspiring they were, how energized I felt, it was like a revelation. Call me slow, but months later it’s still sinking in how phenomenal this release is – it will ripple and go down in punk history, I swear.

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BARCELONA – Pueden Ser Ellos 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus)

One of the Barcelona greats. Growling vocals, frenzied, trance-inducing drumming with crashing cymbals, and relentless, screeching and blown out chords carry you through four tracks in five minutes of pummeling, primitive, insurrectionist hardcore musick. Opener “Caudillo” is flawless in all its monotonic, blazing, 47-second glory, crashing into “Infierno de Cobardes” that sounds like it’s literally falling over itself with power and passion. The guitar on “Quien Coño Manda” scorches like fire, seamlessly shifting pace and hurtling into closing stomper “Dios Te Salve.” Stripped down in structure but glowing red hot from within, this is the naked, ugly, angry spirit of punk and it’s perfect. The artwork by drummer Oriol Roca – a brilliant artist in his own right and defining factor of the band’s sound and aesthetic – is tailored for the release and is of course superb.

a1796109479_16CHAIN OF FLOWERS – S/T LP (ALTER)

New favourite band of the year for sure. I saw them live before listening to the record and, while they sound different on both occasions, Cardiff’s CHAIN OF FLOWERS do both magnificently well. The record is a well-produced mix of shoegaze and post-punk, with catchy and melodic vocals, soaring and evocative chords, dreamy and melancholic keys, and tight, passionate drumming. The songs seamlessly mesh with one another, making you push the needle back to the start again and again before flipping to repeat. Live, I saw them in the UK on a mini-tour with DIÄT a handful of times, and every time I fell for it even more: dynamic and intense playing that’s powered by their tight-knit connection and captivating collective energy. When we got back to Berlin, to make it through post-tour blues, Iffi and I jammed this record on repeat every single morning for a week both at home and the record shop. “Crisis” became the aptly titled personal anthem of my year.

a1715811942_10DHK / MAQUINA MUERTA – split 12” (Metadona)

I got this record on the 30th of December 2015 when I went to Barcelona for the first time and saw a bunch of wicked local bands at a squat now sadly evicted (RIP Transformadors). Maquina Muerta played (now based in Mallorca by way of Mexico) and were as powerful as the record. I love the speed and intensity, the steamrolling, nightmarish sound, the reverbed vocals totally blowing me away. DHK from Peru play unpretentious, raw D-beat with an urgency and despairing aggression that seeps through every aspect of the band: the grating guitars and vocals, the violent, bleak realism of the lyrics, the shambolic clatter of the drums, the flooring bass. A poignant collaboration with haunting artwork linking everything together.

a3661276530_10EFIALTIS – S/T 7″ (Static Shock)

I think this might be one of the bands I spoke most about in 2016 – definitely year of the NIGHTMARE. Pulling three tracks from their demo plus one new one, London’s EFIALTIS sound even more powerful on vinyl – and their second 2016 EP on LVEUM is only further proof. Opening self-titled track “Efialtis” is their pièce de résistance, their Imperial March, and is the definition of a banger if ever I heard one, stomping right in, dominant and unafraid, forceful and disruptive. For me this record is a giant finger to all the men who can play the fuck out of their instruments but still choose to make boring ass music with no soul or attitude, two things EFIALTIS possess in abundance. With members now scattered across the globe, it’s a darn shame I never got to see them live, as I know their abrasive energy translates differently on stage. Check out the interview I did with them for MRR. The EFIALTIS is dead. Long live the EFIALTIS.

a3803631329_10GUTTER / ΧΩΡΙΣ ΟΙΚΤΟ – split 7″ EP (Scarecrow)

NWGHC: A great release and a much-needed breath of fresh air for the current Greek hardcore landscape, this split features two of the best bands in Athens right now. On the one side, newcomers ΧΩΡΙΣ ΟΙΚΤΟ (read horís íkto, meaning ‘without mercy’) unload three tracks of brooding hardcore, with despairing, gravelly vocals in Greek, burning riffs and up-beat D-beat drumming that give this a defining edge and distinct texture. On the flip are GUTTER, a solid hardcore band that’s been going strong for half a deacde or so, with tight, straight but catchy hardcore with ’80s infuences – my fave vocals in Greek HC right now. Between the two bands, members also play in (also worthy bands) ANTIMOB, CUT OFF, SARABANTE, ARHI TOU TELOUS and more.

a2857544673_10HEAVY METAL – LP LP (Static Age)

The oddest of them all, this Berlin-based wildcard took everyone by surprise. Running like a drugged up mixtape, flying all kinds of freak flags, each track marches to a different beat – with rock beats alternating with dance beats – while still sounding distinctly HEAVY METAL. They don’t confine themselves to any one genre, giving their sound a seemingly limitless range of options, from noisy beat experimentation and mean-riffed post-punk explosions, to stripped down rock’n’roll and spite-dripping noise-punk. “Don’t Call Me Brother” is guaranteed to get the bodies moving, while closer “Total Bullshit,” the record’s crown jewel, is a flawless punk manifesto for the modern age. Insane or ingenious, does it really even matter?

a1096271411_10LUST FOR YOUTH – Compassion LP (Sacred Bones)

Quite the sensation, Denmark’s LUST FOR YOUTH are more than music – they’re a brand, a lifestyle, an artifact of decadent indulgence. LFY create a haven to go back to again and again – like a magic hotel room in a world through the looking glass, full of fabulous people, expensive drugs and an unlimited supply of bottled desire/despair sponsored by Dom Perignon. It could have been the best of times, it could have been the worst of times, LFY create a cinematic, stylized soundtrack to what otherwise might have been painful or ugly memories, capturing and coating them in deep beats, dreamy vocals and delicate melodies, adding their distinctively chic sonic filter to everything they touch. Music for lovers and losers, for elevator sex, hotel room sex, sex with strangers, your emotions on drugs, dancing high at the club with tears in your eyes, leaving the show without saying goodbye, kissing in Ubers and crying on planes, falling in love and mixing pleasure with pain and cocaine.

screen_20shot_202016-01-10_20at_209-13-31_20am_originalNARCOESTADO – S/T 7” (Going Underground)

I played this record so many times this year I think I know all the lyrics by heart (best way to improve my poor Spanish). Mexico’s NARCOESTADO made a record that’s like comfort food to me – reliable and nourishing for the soul. Every track is catchy and familiar-sounding, like someone you just met but feel you’ve known your whole life. There’s just enough melancholy to the vocals, lyrics and riffs to speak to my rotten heart, while still sounding aggravated and rough enough to match my angry disappointments. It’s the soundtrack to those confused and lonely nights, after the party has ended and the fight is over (you lost), and you’re left walking home alone in the cold wondering what the fucking point to any of it is. So you turn the music up and keep walking.

a3281916634_10ΟΔΟΣ 55 – 2 LP (Eirkti)

ODOS 55 (meaning ‘street 55’ in Greek) deliver noisy minimalism drenched in dystopian angst, and the follow up to their stellar 2013 LP is just as daunting and haunting as I’d hoped. The scarce vocals are mechanical and hypnotic, angry and yelled out in Greek, a textural collage of sounds layering slowly, creating a neurotic, claustrophobic mise-en-abyme of synths and beats. There’s a liberating kind of mania to it, with beats arising like an industrial pulse from an underground vent, and synths bleeding their way through the tightly soundscaped compositions. Excellent local and international influences inform but don’t overshadow ODOS 55’s own creative vision, making this two-piece the most interesting and original project in Greece right now. Sounds for a life of cemented dreams and shifting sidewalks.

a1147212805_10THE LOWEST FORM ­– Personal Space 12” (Harbinger Sound/Iron Lung)

Sophomore albums are tricky, but the UK’s THE LOWEST FORM return to outdo themselves. Moving away from the rather general and confining ‘noise not music’ section of hardcore, they’ve created a whole new ‘noise as music’ section just for themselves – yes they basically play like a hardcore band, but the compositions and execution, the production and aesthetics behind the finished result, they all prove TLF to be so much more than a mere hardcore band. Darker and more focused, in a transcendent kind of way, they plod and gallop (literally, there are horses on this record) through two sides in less than 20 minutes – like frantically elbowing their way through a noisy crowd in search of the record’s elusive title notion (best record title of the year BTW). They change pace relentlessly, layering for perspective and density, yet everything speeds up and slows down, fades away and comes together in all the right ways and at all the right times – including when you least expect it. While the writing is still characteristically off-kilter – cerebral yet simple, never letting you get too comfortable with any one state, veering off into seizure-like strumming and burning solos, breaking out into thick beats – they seem to have given the songs more breathing room (with still no track exceeding the three-minute mark) making this their catchiest, most consistently explored release to date from start to finish. The playing is bursting with force and thanks to the production (that’s a touch less noisy but adequately textured) every twisted chord, grated bass line and signature drum-roll sounds just right (including when it’s buried or distorted), the fire-breathing vocals and heady lyrics setting the tone throughout. The negative ecstasy continues and it sounds wicked.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

DAUÐYFLIN – Drepa Drepa 7″ (Erste Theke Tonträger)

Red-hot hardcore from ice-cold Iceland with a dirty and shambolic sound, furious vocals and memorable tracks. Don’t snooze on this one!

CAROL – Breakdown/So Low 45 (Weyrd Son)

Minimal coldwave with a strong dreamy pop element from the ’80s, a perfect single that captures the beauty and pain of desire.

EXOTICA – Musique Exotíque #1 Demo Cass. (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Exciting and fiery punk that’s catchy with lots of energy. Wanna sing along and pogo to this in the pit!

GOOD THROB – The Queen Sucks Nazi Cock 7″ (La Vida Es Un Mus)

Can this band outdo itself any more? Most original band of the decade, another tongue-in-cheek/gnashing teeth release.

HARAM – What Do You See? 7″ (Toxic State)

One of the most radical releases of the year, everything about it is challenging and different, from the songs and vocals in Arabic to the visual and lyrical concepts within. In this day and age bands like Haram are sorely needed and this interview is worth your time.

KRIMEWATCH – Demo Cass. (self-released)

Catchy, up-beat but sharp and pissed off hardcore  – the vocal twists are some of my favourite of the year, as is the track sung in Japanese, a total 10/10!

LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS – Huff My Sack LP (La Vida Es Un Mus)

The kings of snark on what feels like a concept record for mockery and loathing. “I Wanna Move To New York” played on repeat for months.

SIEVEHEAD – S/T 7″ (Static Shock)

Tense and intense post-punk that spears right through the heart. I’m glad to say I saw them live a couple times and they take it to a whole other level, with hella tight playing and exploding energy to spare.

STRUTTER – S/T 7″ (Static Shock)

Attitude-filled hardcore punk with fire riffs, their EP was on constant rotation all summer and they were a highlight at Static Shock fest in November.

WARTHOG – Culture? 7″ (Beach Impediment)

Post-modern hardcore critique of an insidiously oppressive world. Hardcore with force and brains that works! ‘Culture?’ is a fucking anthem, current and reflective of the here and now in a spine-chilling way. Fantastic set at Static Shock festival!

GREEK ΠΑΝΚ Mixtape

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-4-38-08-pmIn light of Maximum Rocknroll asking me to put together a Greek punk special for the radio, I put together a mixtape with some Greek punk from 1983 to 2016.

To start, this tape should by no means be considered an exhaustive list of Greek punk. For that you can visit anexartisi.gr and click on Bands (ΣΥΓΚΡΟΤΗΜΑΤΑ) and there you’ll find an alphabetical list of every Greek band considered ‘punk’ (ergo DIY and political) from the scene’s early stages right up until the present day. It’s an excellent resource and one day I’ll go about translating the whole thing so it’s more accessible to the non-malakas.

It would be impossible to make a tape with Greek punk and have nothing to say about the lyrics. I always thought non-Greek speakers were missing out on the tragic ironies, bitter loses and gutted realities spoken about in Greek punk music; the stories they tell, the buttons and boundaries they push. From ANTI…’s ‘human vegetables, without morals’ (the cops) to NAYTIA’s ‘Golden Youth’ created in God’s image and guided by convention, and from ORA MIDEN’s call for the death of all poets because they turn shit into sun and sea, to PANX ROMANA’s anthem ‘Alarm’ (‘I bring fear to your inertia’) or PISSA KAI POUPOULA’s cry for help on ‘Wake Up, I’m Dying!’ 1980s Greek punk was firmly rooted in the discontent with and the critique of the establishment. Sure there were songs that diverted from the political, but only marginally. Punk in Greece was definitely protest music, a political stance that went beyond just words and lyrics, but which for many became a way of thinking that went on to deeply influence the unfolding youth cultures of the time. (More on these underground youth cultures of the Greek 1980s and how they brought about a wave of gritty teensploitation movies – whether punk or punk-adjacent – at another time.)

Institutions such as the state, the military, the church and the EU (which Greece had just entered in 1981) all came under scrutiny and judgment by punks, who I like to think more often than not stood (loosely) organized against them, and mocked concepts such as ‘democracy,’ the corrupt justice and education systems, the state snitches (teachers, journalists), the suffocating conservatism of Greek Orthodox society and its insidious enabler, the nuclear family. To quote CHAOTIC END, ‘we live in darkness waiting for death.’ To the youth, all of these concepts were remnants of a past they not only felt disconnected from, they felt this past like tangled, gripping roots they couldn’t get away from. As CHAOS GENERATION sang in another song: “Chaos! No hope!” accompanied by some of the best guitars and drums in the game – their whole first self-titled record is a bleak masterpiece that brilliantly sums up the sense of isolation, claustrophobia and frustration prevalent at the time.

They felt cheated and abandoned, and, if Greek punk lyrics are any kind of public record to go by, then indeed the 1980s were a rough time: young people dying from heroine overdoses, committing suicide in army bases, and getting locked up in mental institutions thanks to medical and societal ignorance. Not to mention the regular day-to-day struggle of being poor, a minority, queer, or just different in some way. The bleak themes run throughout: ‘Trekse’ talks about running as far from this place as you can (20 years later that song’s theme still rings true for many) and ‘Kommatika Eksartimeni,’ which translates to ‘Political-Party Dependent’ which, besides having an absolutely killer riff, warns that ‘your vote is your death, your vote is your punishment,’ while on ‘To Megalo Spiti,’ (‘The Big House’) ode to the historic, now-evicted Villa Amalias squat in Athens, FORGOTTEN PROPHESY gave Greek punks the same kind of mantra CRASS were delivering overseas: Η μόνη εξουσία είναι ο εαυτός σου; there is no authority but yourself.

You will notice a lack of women on this tape, and that’s because there really were very few of them in the Greek punk scene. On this tape we can count Sonia, drummer and vocalist for NAYTIA, Yianna, drummer and vocalist for HIBERNATION (and NUCLEAR WINTER before that) and Eleftheria, bassist and occasional vocalist for OREXI GIA TIPOTA (MOOD FOR NOTHING), but that is not an all-inclusive list either. (On that note: I’m on a quest to compile an archive of female and non-male Greek punk scene participants, so more on that at a later date. Feel free to get in touch if you have info you’d like to input.) On the OREXI GIA TIPOTA track ‘Koritsi Viazi Agori’ (which translates to ‘Girl Rapes Boy,’ the only track where Elftheria sings alone) she says: ‘you think that because you are the boy, you can say that I deserve what happened to me, but now the roles have been reversed, and I’ll teach you about the pain that you ignore.’ An extremely potent narrative, and even more significant because it is a woman (and not a man) discussing this matter in a highly straightforward manner.

Given how (basically) homogeneous Greek society was and still is, it was refreshing to hear of FREE YOURSELF, a Düsseldorf-based band made of second generation Greeks. Their cover of GULAG’s classic track ‘Ethismos’ was, in my humble opinion, not only a hair-raising rendition of the original, it was also a turning point in Greek punk history abroad. ‘Time is a punisher, time is an addiction.’

Greek punk today may still lack a certain level of diversity, but the music undoubtedly evolved, even if rather slowly: we had thrasher skate punk, we had grungier rock, lots and lots and lots of crust and metal-influenced hardcore throughout the 1990s, and, annoyingly, too much metalcore – this explains the chronological leap from 2001 to 2010 on the tape, during which time there were many beyond-mediocre metalcore / mathcore / beatdown hardcore / “extreme metal” bands. They didn’t cross over with the DIY / political punk scene that much thankfully, which in the early 2000s was still happily riding the crust wave like it was 1996 — oh wait, that still happens!

We also have the obligatory DIS-band (noise-not-music fans should seek out GO FILTH GO’s split with BESTÖVEN), Burning Spirits-influenced hardcore like ANTIMOB and DIRTY WOMBS, and, in recent years, a return to Greece’s rich synth-punk and new wave/goth history, with bands like ODOS 55 and ERA OF FEAR (‘darkíles’ as we call them back home). We also had PANDIMIA, the most revelatory of bands for me in the late 2000s after ANTIMOB. Their track ‘Kingdom of Decline’ has lyrics which sum up the modern situation quite aptly: ‘People show you that they are happy, they’re crying on the inside, but on the outside they smile.’ Despite some drawbacks and tendencies that seem hard to break, punk in Greece remains no less political and DIY today than it was in the ’80s, with hopefully more diversity and inclusivity on the horizon. There’s no more exciting time than the present and, if the past is anything to go by, the next few years should see a boom in bands, styles and participants. I’m glad I’m back in Athens to be a part of it.

 

Until next time, stay posi, stay strong! Thanks for supporting Greek punk! For updates, go HERE.

—Οβσέσσιονιστ

Storm Stereo #8 on Berlin Community Radio

lydsHallo meine Lieblings!

Today was a special day, as Storm Stereo was broadcasting live from the studio at Berlin Community Radio! Dead chuffed that the lovely people at BCR invited me to host a show, and even though I was so incredibly high on coffee and crunched for time coz of my nervous banter, it was a mighty fun show. Sadly there was a glitch I only just became aware of, and ANALOG BLOC was not played (but instead it was MISS KITTIN twice! Ooops, sorry!) But you should check it out below!

Of course, time flies when you’re having fun, and I realized I had to cut my sets shorts, so no KAOS, ANTI… or EFIALTIS, but I managed to squeeze in some Greek synth personal anthems, some Yugo and Polish punk, some electro beats, and more! Always too many lovely people to mention, so just know you are all in my thoughts no matter where you are on the planet: from Barcelona and the UK to Japan and Canada, and from Athens and Australia to Lyon and the far, far West!

Until next time, stay posi, stay strong! With love from outer space

—Obsessionist

JOSE LARRALDE – Quimey Neuquen (como una daga en mi corazón)

LOWER – But There Has To Be More (seasonal existentialism)

FELIX DA HOUSECAT ft. MISS KITTIN – Silver Screen Shower Scene

COSMETICS – Black Leather Gloves

LED ES EST – Scissors

LUST FOR YOUTH – Barcelona (como una daga en mi corazón)

TUXEDOMOON – No Tears (ADULT Remix)

SECTA – Oposición (ugh, that riff gives me goosebumps every time!)

DEAD HERO – Oi!

BARCELONA – Caudillo / Infierno de Cobardes (I •love• those vocals!)

ODOS 55 – Attiki Victoria

ERA OF FEAR – Mizeria

PARAF – Fini Dečko

MOSKWA – Ja Wiew, Ty Wiesz