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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great anthology, 25 Jun 2013
By 
Richard Leigh (London, England) - See all my reviews
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My first reaction on learning about this set was to wonder why they had bothered. There have been dozens of rembetika anthologies, not one of them devoted purely to instrumental music. Rembetika is a vocal style, surely? If no-one else has produced such a collection, there must be a good reason. WRONG. This anthology contains some of the best music I've heard in a long time, regardless of genre. The music is all excellent, the transfers are better than I've ever heard, and the information supplied in the beautifully designed hardback book is some of the best writing on the subject that I've read. One example of the quality of the transfer of the music is the very last track, "Minore tou Teke" by Iannis Halikias. This is a classic track, and appears on most anthologies of the music. I must have it on at least half a dozen anthologies; but I have never heard it as clearly as I do here.
The research has unearthed information about some of the more obscure players, and by including their music rescues them from oblivion - a rescue more than justified by the quality of their music.
The range is extraordinary. By focussing on instrumental music the compilers have given themselves space to feature instruments rarely before heard - barrel-organ, whistling, mandolin, etc - thus giving us an experience of the music which I had not even known to exist. And this is, for all the annotation and research, not a purely scholarly enterprise: if it doesn't get you dancing, see your doctor at once. The cost, for two CDs and a book, is very reasonable indeed. It used to be a record-reviewers' cliché to say "this has not been off my turntable since I got it" but in this case I can't put it any better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it a book? Is it a CD?, 15 Sep 2013
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Having been listening to Greek music for over 20 years I found that many albums were rather short on information about the music. This is different - a hard cover book with two splendid CDs and more history and recording information than you would ever want. Although it is very readable as a book, it is probably best enjoyed by listening to the related music as you read. Wonderful book and wonderful music. Pity there's only 5 stars available - it's worth double that!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling !!!, 14 Sep 2013
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Truly amazing. A unique compilation of socio-historical facts that can perused whilst accompanied by a carefully and painstakingly assembled compilation of representatives from the "Greek" genre. John Karamichas
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