CULTURE

New releases aim to wake up market

Amid a slowing global music industry whose continual drop in album sales over recent years has been mainly attributed to rampant piracy and the downloading of music over the Internet, local divisions of multinational as well as independent Greek labels will be hoping that some of their upcoming releases may break the sector’s slumbering business. Several upcoming albums to be released by mainstream acts in the imminent future stand some chance of generating healthy sales figures. Veteran crossover artist Vassilis Papaconstantinou, equally comfortable with both rock and Greek material, who is putting his final touches to a new album, is a likely candidate for a hit album. Having sustained his popularity over a long career that dates back to the mid-1970s, Papaconstantinou is currently collaborating with renowned lyricist Marianina Kriezi for his forthcoming release. Kriezi, who established herself as one of the lyricists for Lillipoupoli, the legendary children’s music program for state radio two decades ago, will be returning after a lengthy absence. Another likely top-seller is Christos Thivaios, the former frontman of the short-lived group Synithis Ypopti. Thivaios, whose passionate, slightly coarse vocal delivery has led to various guest appearances both on stage and in the studio, will be keen to prove his worth as a solo act with his upcoming release. Thivaios, incidentally, is also providing vocals to new material by composer Thanos Mikroutsikos. Combining new and old trends, the team of veteran vocalist Tania Tsanaklidou, one of the country’s finest, and Michalis Delta, who had originally surfaced with the influential, now-defunct electronica act Stereo Nova early last decade, could come up with the required chemistry for commercial success. It seems that the pairing of renowned female singers with younger-generation electronica talent is developing into a trend. The upcoming Tsanaklidou-Delta collaboration comes in the wake of a recent, similar-minded effort by Dimitra Galani and Constantinos Vita. A former high school teacher who nowadays makes his living as a craftsman of stringed instruments, Papadamou is as unconventional as they come, as was highlighted by his marketing policy, or lack of one, for his last album. A home recording, Papadamou decided to keep Tou Diavolou ta Lychnaria out of music stores, opting instead to give it away free of charge. At the time, the artist had backed his stance by saying that his aim was to target only truly interested listeners as a form of protest, or expression of disgust, against what he views as the prevailing vulgar state of contemporary Greek music, and the music industry as a whole. The album, which draws from old rebetika and laika songs and steers clear of his former band’s tendency to splash a wayward jazz feel over laika foundations, is definitely worth a listen. It should be available at the shows.