The most exquisitely melacholy is «Psarandonis Syrto» — Psarandonis is the name of Xylouris’ father, a very famous musician in his own right, and a syrto is one of Greece’s most popular folk dances. But the hardest-kicking track is «Old School Sousta», says Anastasia Tsioulcas. Their version brings the sousta, which traces its roots to an ancient martial dance, but over time became a flirtatious courtship folk dance, right back to its origins — bass-heavy, forceful and snarling.
Xylouris is a legendary Cretan folk musician, White is an icon of underground music, and together they have forged something surprising and impossible to categorize. Produced by Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, the album brings together these varied and inspired personalities to create something undeniably fresh and new. George Xylouris was born into a Greek musical family of incomparable stature; his uncle, Nikos Xylouris, is arguably one of the most iconic Greek performers of all time; nicknamed the “archangel of Crete,” his songs are part of the fabric of modern Greek music. Nikos’ younger brother, Antonis Xylouris (George’s father), is better known as Psarandonis, a world-renowned singer and lyra player who has long pushed against the boundaries of traditional folk, playing his instrument with a passion and intensity that has made him a hero in Crete, a legend throughout Greece, and famous around the world amongst fans of international folk. George grew up playing the lute, and spent much of his youth accompanying Psarandonis on many of his most important recordings and performances, pushing the lute into new realms as his father does with the lyra. George is a dynamic player who has gone on to lead many ensembles of his own, performing on more than 70 albums, and while his approach to his music is many-faceted, his treatment of the lute as a lead instrument has frequently set him apart from the tradition he also embraces. Jim White emerged from the Australian post-punk scene to become one of the most beloved and instantly recognizable drummers of today. Best known for his long-running role in Dirty Three, that trio’s unique instrumental line-up of violin, guitar and drums is perhaps the perfect format to showcase White’s distinct style, and like Xylouris, White frequently pushes his instrument into an unconventional lead role.