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Kristi's Secrets

Selána called a halt after a couple of years, by which time Stathis and Kristi were a couple. After making her first solo album Sti Límni Mé Tís Paparoúnes (By The Lake With The Poppies) in 1992, around the songs of friends Panayótis Kalatzópoulos and Evanthía Reboútsika, the pair were determined to stick to their own musical course. The first fruit of this - after a few years during which this multi-talented woman also published two books, Seven Times In Amorgos and The Fiery Sword - was the 1997 CD Ifantókosmos (The Woven World). Music by Stathis, lyrics and vocals by Kristi, the way they still work.

"Nobody from the big multinationals in Greece wanted to release Ifantókosmos. In the end we made the album and it was a kind of hit with the alternative audience, which could be of any age but is just listening to more experimental things and not what you can hear every day on the radio in Greece. At that time Ifantókosmos was very well accepted by these people. Actually, it gave us the chance to be able to talk with bigger labels, to be able to have our own terms. It made us somehow more commercial, but in a good sense."

1999's Echotropia followed, making their first dent in the World Music Charts Europe and with widening international ripples that included North American release and touring. Musically, it hinted at the path that would lead to The Secrets Of The Rocks. And with this latest album, the couple have become a really creative machine, somehow finding that elusive alchemist's stone which allows them to create modern music that has global technological influences yet remains true to their roots, indisputably Greek in a modern world. Indeed, I suggest that they're probably now more part of a global community of artists than a local one. Ears are opening everywhere as the world gets smaller, but their kindred spirits are in the musical anti-globalisation movement against the stuff that's pushed by the multinational companies.

"You just expressed in very good English, better than ours, our feeling towards what we are doing and what is happening in music today," confirms Kristi. "It's exactly this. We can't go on just listening to what has been produced in Anglo-Saxony, the big multinationals. It's impossible. Why? Why should this happen?"

This feature first appeared in fRoots 237, March 2003


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