Touch of rock with a twist

Press conferences held for the presentation of an artist’s new album are rarely interesting; no substantial questions are ever asked (and how could they be amid the noise of cameras flashing and loud speakers) and substantial answers are hardly ever given. Usually, everyone talks about the joy of their collaborations. Musician Nikos Portokaloglou’s recent press conference was an exception. «These presentations are meaningless,» he announced, and decided not to say a word. That makes his latest album, «Dipsa» (Thirst), even more interesting; «Dipsa» comes two years after Portokaloglou’s platinum soundtrack for the film «Brasileiro,» which contains the massive hit «Thalassa mou Skotini» (My Dark Sea). Portokaloglou’s music combines elements from different musical generations, tendencies and influences. The new album still maintains the rock feel but also includes a mixture of different kinds of music (electronica, for instance, the sounds of traditional toys) and the result is very pleasant indeed, as is always the case with the musician’s work. In «Dipsa,» a string ensemble is married to winds and electric sounds. Balkan winds appear alongside reggae; electric loops are found next to a violin and Easter melodies complement the electric guitar. This musical variety led Portokaloglou to adorn his album cover with a work of art by Yiannis Adamakis instead of using a photograph of his, as is usually the case with most musicians. Two young female vocalists participate in this album: Adriana Babali, whom Portokaloglou introduced to the music scene, and Melina Aslanidou. Portokaloglou has been consistent in his choice of colleagues for his latest CD. He orchestrated the album jointly with Chrysostomos Mouratoglou, who is also the album’s producer. His band consists of Odysseas Tsakalos, Akis Katsoupakis, Costas Yianniris, Tassos Fotiou and Manos Pyrovolakis.