Balothizer – Cretan Music From Hell (LP)
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The ferocious and psychedelic lament that is Cretan Music from Hell is a result of Balothizer’s irresistible persuasion towards Crete’s music traditions and culture and its overlaps with modern sentiments of punk and rock n roll. Crete’s musical tradition can with no doubt be described as prosperous and vibrant. Prosperous because it is overwhelmed with a variety of musical timbres; and vibrant, because it still continues to frame the everyday life of its residents. Crete has suffered many conquerors: the Ancient Greeks, Byzantines, Venetians, Moors, and Ottomans. The island’s inhabitants consequently developed their own unique musical character, carved from the roughness of rocky mountains, the energy of sea waves, the belligerent mood of the guerrilla, the sorrow and pain of romantic encounters and a pagan’s love of nature. Moreover, the Cretan people also displayed their tremendous fighting spirit against the threat of fascism during WWII. These sentiments still live at large in the Cretan Spirit. This gave birth to the instrument that is pivotal to the region’s music: the Cretan Lute – a steel string bass mandola played with a highly percussive strumming style. During the 70s, Cretan musicians combined the Cretan lute with valve amplification, birthing a highly aggressive and distinctly resonant sound.
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