Lüüp — Distress Signal Code
(Musea FGBG 4764, 2008, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2011-06-01
I did not know what to expect from this release. The cover is a photo of a Chaplinesque clown balancing on a stack of chairs. But the music is anything but comical. What we have is a collection of nine beautiful and delicate songs and instrumentals constructed around Greek flautist Stelios Romaliadis’ looped and multi-tracked Frippertronic-type playing. There is even some sense of Bill Nelson in Stelios’ use of recorded sound bites from British lectures on science and philosophy. On vocals, the hauntingly beautiful voices of Swedish folksinger Lisa Isaksson or fellow Greek Akis Boyatzis accompany Stelios and his flute. On the instrumentals, Stelios plays with Van der Graaf Generator’s David Jackson on sax and Nikos Fokas on occasional Mellotron. Magnitophono is also credited, but it must be for the electronic multi-layering. In contrast to the other songs, title track is distressing and dissonant with an Urban Sax vibe near the end. While Distress Signal Code is Stelios’ vision, the real emotion comes through his contributors like David Jackson, as without these added elements, the looped flute will eventually bore you. I am not at all sure how you would go about classifying this music. In some ways it is an ambient soundscape, but then there the vocals that take you in an entirely different direction. Overall, this collection of songs works quite well and is worthy of you to take the time to discover this artist.
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