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Kristi Stassinopoulou: Echotropica

Kristi Stassinopoulou’s Echotropica asks the listener to suspend disbelief and culture-divining tendencies and sink into a hypnotic musical space. It’s quite possible, thanks to the pleasant fuzziness of the textures mixed with a carefully crafted exoticism, all guided by the leader’s understated and beautiful singing.

Stassinopoulou is Greek, and she has found considerable success on the European scene. She brings her love of rock icons like Jefferson Airplane, Fairport Convention and Patti Smith to bear in music that nonetheless celebrates Grecian musical values. Despite the accessible pulse of its backbeats and the warm blankets of its electronics, invention breathes in the margins of this music. Abstract whispering of text from a Mikhail Bulgakov novel opens “Into the Fire,” and the more identifiably Greek “Drumming Frogs” blends trancey rhythmic freedom and echo-laden ambiance. The poetic rocker “Beehives” ends the album on as colorful a note as “We Are Flying” opens the album on a deceptively generic one. A lot of good and fresh ideas swirl about on this album, which grows on you the more you listen.

Originally Published