Friday, May 30, 2014

CD Review: Kompania's 'Round Trip'

Round Trip

The Greek group, Kompania, releases an excellent new release aptly-titled Round Trip. The album touches on music beyond the traditional rebetiko fanfare with vibrant oud, baglama, zills, davul, darbouka, slide guitar, bouzouki, accordion, and guitar. There is still a good amount of Greek music here, but the instrumental repertoire opens up the tunes to influences across Europe, the Mediterranean, and parts of the Middle East. The Greek vocals are emotive, mournful, and happy throughout. In fact, the vocals are so powerful at times they tend to take on a life of their own. The vocal arrangements are diverse and appropriately match the instrumental sections. Vocals are attributed to Katerina Tsiridou, Sotiris Papatragiannis, and Dimitris Kranidas. The metallic bouzouki sounds are bright and cheery. The percussion is sparse, but precise. The entire package is enlightening and full of life with varied vocals and sounds that create a whirling atmosphere of sonic delight. Nothing is wrong here. Round Trip begins and ends with Kompania. ~ Matthew Forss

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