Hello my loves and happy new year!
First Storm Stereo for 2018, and we start off our first hour with some current Greek electronic acts: PS Stamps Back, whom I saw live recently and was mighty impressed – definitely check out his releases and live shows if you can – followed by Athens’ dark darlings The Rattler Proxy, and a remix done by one-half of the Rattler, Lucas Savidis. Then we pay a small tribute to some current acts on PAN Records, followed by two highly inspiring, badass forces in techno right now, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting (while trying not to gush), Umfang and Aurora Halal.
The second part of our show had been in the making for a while, and we explore diverse and unique musical traditions from along the Silk Road and beyond, with a one-hour set curated specially for Storm Stereo by my friend, painter and musician, Yiannis Panoutsopoulos (Sun of Nothing). Since we first met in 2005, he has shared with me unusual music from around the world and opened my ears to weird, beautiful and often rare sounds from remote locations and unknown cultures – so much so, I requested he gather some of his favourites in a set for your audio pleasure.
Starting in one of the coldest places on Earth, we travel to the snow-capped mountains of southern Siberia and visit the nomadic tribes of Tuva, with artists Radik Tyulyush, Chirgilchin and Huun-Huur-Tu, then explore Japan’s national instrument, the koto, with music by Zumi-Kai. The word koto might look familiar, as koto music was recently rediscovered by many thanks to YouTube’s algorithmic autoplay of this rather obscure record by blind koto player, Kimio Eto.
Afterwards, we delve into the rhythmic world of throat music (locally know as kai) from the Altai Republic, with songs by Alta Kai sung in their native Altai language and featuring native musical instruments, then move around the globe to listen to more throat singing, this time in Inuit by Inuk artist Tanya Tagaq.
We also listen to the Tibetan monastic choir Phurpa, and their ritualistic compositions based in the pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bon tradition, and revisit the deep and sorrowful sounds of Iran, with heartbreaking vocals (and moving strings and chords to accompany them) by one of Iran’s most respected classical singers, Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, and contemporary Kurdish-Iranian tenor Shahram Nazeri.
For me, however, the most moving track from this list was ‘Midnight Tale’, the collaboration between Tuvan band Huun-Huur-Tu, the Moscow Art Trio (who have collaborated with the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, among others) and Angelite, the absolutely stunning Bulgarian Voices Women’s Choir. Perhaps you recall the sound, made popular by Stefka Sabotinova with this incredible song:
To close it off, we listen to Yiorgos Katsaros and his masterpiece ‘Vre Ti Mangas Poume Go’, a rebetiko whose chords and riffs are ever so slight but ever so powerful, piercing straight to the core of the wandering hedonist soul. For more Greek pre-war and diaspora rebetika, check out this excellent mix by Death is Not the End.
Discovering new instruments (whether old or contemporary) and hearing different approaches to music is definitely an obsession for me, so perhaps in the near future we’ll dedicate a show to the weird and obscure sounds of unusual vocals and native instruments.
Until then, apologies for the delay in the Bowie special that was supposed to air this week. It’s not the side-effects of the cocaine.
With love from outer space
STORM STEREO 33 TRACK LIST
DIRTY BEACHES – Love Is the Devil
PS STAMPS BACK – Todo los Fuegos el Fuego
ANTONI MAIOVVI – Autoguerra (Lucas Savidis remix)
THE RATTLER PROXY – Dead City
PAN DAIJING – Act of the Empress
STILL – Sound Boy Test (Interlude)
M.E.S.H. – Inspired by True Story
UMFANG – Where Is She
AURORA HALAL – Just Tell Me
CHROMATICS – Yes (Love Theme from Lost River)
Along the Silk Road and Beyond:
RADIK TYULYUSH – Intro
RADIK TYULYUSH – Er-le Changys
ALTAI KAI – Warrior’s Words
VLADIMIR OIDUPAA OIUN – The Girl of the Tes River
ANGELITE & MOSCOW ART TRIO & HUUN-HUUR-TU – Midnight Tale
MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN – Saz o Avaz
ZUMI-KAI – Midare
PHURPA- The Visualisation (Trowo Phurnag Ceremony)
SHAHRAM NAZERI – Mystic
CHIRGILCHIN – Igor’s Solo
TANYA TAGAQ – Qiujaviit
ALTAI-KAI – Koionok
HUUN-HUUR-TU & ANGELITE – Fly, Fly My Sadness
(Outro) YIORGOS KATSAROS – Vre Ti Mangas Poume Go