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A brief rebetika discography

Jon Corelis 13 Feb 12 - 01:18 PM
wysiwyg 13 Feb 12 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Feb 12 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 13 Feb 12 - 06:26 PM
Jon Corelis 13 Feb 12 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Feb 12 - 11:21 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Feb 12 - 02:07 PM
Will Fly 14 Feb 12 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,M.Ted 14 Feb 12 - 03:16 PM
Jon Corelis 14 Feb 12 - 03:38 PM
Thomas Stern 14 Feb 12 - 03:51 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 12 - 04:20 PM
Thomas Stern 14 Feb 12 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Francesco Martinelli 10 Apr 12 - 01:25 AM
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Subject: A brief rebetika discography
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 01:18 PM

Rebetika music has sometimes been called the Greek blues, and although musically it's not like the blues at all, the comparison is an apt one in that, like the blues, rebetika music grew out of a specific urban subculture and was associated with a certain type of life-style, in which poverty, oppression, sex, alcohol, drugs, and violence played prominent roles. Rebetika music basically grew out of the culture of the Greek refugees from Asia Minor in the early 1920s. These people were settled in Athens and other areas and continued to live for the most part in their own communities, often under conditions of great hardship. They created, through the fusion of the Anatolian musical modes they brought with them with native mainland Greek musical traditions, a unique new type of music called rebetika (no one really knows where the name came from, and English spellings vary) which reflected both the rough, oppressed condition of their lives and the resilience, toughness,and good humor which enabled them to survive.

Rebetika is also similar to the blues in the development of its social position. In the twenties and thirties it was popular with the urban poor who created it, later it became scorned as "low-class" music, and then in the sixties it experienced a revival, becoming immensely popular among young people, some of whom formed their own rebetika bands to revive the music of the great rebetika artists of the past.

Many of the books and recordings of rebetika are issued in Greece; they tend to be of variable quality and to go in and out of print frequently. This posting attempts to give a short list of materials readily available (with a couple of exceptions as noted) in English-language countries which can be especially recommended as introductory. Most are available from major on line merchants; for recordings, the issuing companies often have web sites for ordering. Some of these recordings may now be available in whole or in part as MP3 downloads, but since the CD packaging often includes valuable notes and pictures, it's better to get the CDs.

CDs:

GREEK-ORIENTAL REBETICA SONGS & DANCES - Various Artists Arhoolie Issued twenty years ago and fortunately still in print, this disc forms an excellent introduction not only musically but historically, since it concentrates on very early rebetica and even includes some proto-rebetica styles.

REMBETICA: HISTORIC URBAN FOLK SONGS OF GREECE. Rounder Records. An excellent anthology including both old standards by famous artists and some interesting rarities, for instance, Agapios Tomboulis's Horos Dervisikos (Dervish Dance), a really wild Middle-Eastern style piece sung in Turkish. Very good notes, and all lyrics in Greek and English.   

ROUGH GUIDE TO REBETIKA An anthology with music and notes that maintain the high standard of the RG Music series, this particular CD is apparently out of print, but still available new and used from many vendors.

MARKOS VAMVAKARIS, BOUZOUKI PIONEER, 1932-1940 Rounder. Good anthology of perhaps the greatest of Rebetika artists.

ROZA ESKENAZI: REMBETISSA Also from Rounder; Roza is considered by many the greatest woman rebetika singer, and her songs will appeal especially to those who like the earlier, Anatolian-influenced rebetika.

WOMEN OF REMBETICA Another good anthology from Rounder.            
   
Books:
   
ROAD TO REMBETIKA : music of a Greek sub-culture : songs of love, sorrow and hashish by Gail Holst Published in various editions in Greece and elsewhere, of which I believe the most recent was 1994, this is one of the few books on the music available in English. Probably out of print, but seems to be readily available from on line vendors.
   
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO WORLD MUSIC: EUROPE, ASIA & PACIFIC, 3RD ED. 2009. This of course has become the standard guide to world music; the section on Greece includes brief but useful notes and cd recommendations for rebetika.

Special note: The most important collection of rebetika recordings is undoubtedly the six volumes of REBETIKI ISTORIA, originally issued in Greece, I think around 1970, on LP and subsequently reissued in cassette and CD forms. Though the liner notes are minimal and apparently no remastering has been done, this is still the collection to get for anyone seriously interested in the music, and in my opinion remains the best introduction to it. Unfortunately, it seems long out of print, but it may be possible to get copies of it from vendors specializing in used recordings. What is greatly needed is for this set to be reissued in remastered form with extensive and knowledgeable notes in an accompanying booklet giving background and lyrics, preferably in both Greek and English. If anyone reading this is involved in the recording industry and is looking for projects, this one would be a major contribution to world music, and might even have some commercial potential.
   
[This posting incorporates a revised version of material I've previously posted elsewhere on the internet, so if you find something similar somewhere else, it just means I'm plagiarizing myself.]

Jon Corelis
Kaleidoscope: Great Poems Set to Music


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 04:09 PM

SO COOL!

~S~


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 05:47 PM

I enjoyed the CD Talking To Charos, by Rembetika, ARC Music – EUCD 1169, released early 1990s. Tracklist and credits at http://www.discogs.com/Talking-To-Charos-Rembetika/release/2940004


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 06:26 PM

One of the world's coolest musical traditions. I speak as one who has loved the singing of Marika Papagika since first hearing it on a 78 some 30 years back. with mysterious violin and cymboolom twisting and twining in the background.

If you have never heard Rebetika aka Rembetika—particularly the extraordinary sounds of the style as first recorded between the 1920s and 1940s—that was a Golden Age for this music too as for so much music the world over—treat yourself. You may well find it's an addiction.

Bob


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:08 PM

"If you have never heard Rebetika aka Rembetika ... "

Also rembetika and rembetica and rebetica and sometimes even rembetiko. If you're doing an internet search, you should be aware of all the variants, since they are rarely cross-referenced.

Jon Corelis
Jon Corelis on SoundCloud


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 11:21 PM

There's also an Australian band, Apodimi Compania, who have recorded some rebetika albums. They are on the web at http://www.freewebs.com/apodimi/


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 02:07 PM

Nice little book we picked up in Greece years ago 'Road to Rembetika' - music of a Greek sub-culture - songs of love, sorrow and hashish By Gail Holst - analysis, songs (with translations), great photos, unfortunately no music (Pub. Denise Harvey and Co, Athens 1975)
Also well worth looking out for - 'Songs of Smyrna' Petros Tabouris (FM records Publication 2008) bi- lingual book of notes plus 4 CDs (bought at Corfu Airport last year.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the heads-up, Jon - just been browsing on Spotify. Quite a range of stuff - from the very earthy stuff in the 1920s and 1930s to the way out Rembetika Hipsters! Some interesting music there and I must dig deeper.


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:16 PM

This is one of the best ever musical traditions! Check the film "Rembetiko", based on the life of Marika Ninou,who was one of the best known performers. here's a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20NGp1fYfls


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:38 PM

Yes, the film Rembetiko has terrific music, combining traditional rebetika songs with newer rebetika-style songs, mostly with music written by major Greek composer Stavros Xarhakos and lyrics by one of modern Greece's greatest poets, Nikos Gkatsos. I believe the film is still available on CD. The sound track was originally published on a double LP, then on cassette and finally on CD. Unfortunately, the CD leaves out some of the best music tracks which were included on the LP. The LP also had lyrics in Greek.        

Jon Corelis
Jon Corelis on SoundCloud


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 03:51 PM

There is a series of 5 4-cd sets on JSP (UK).
I remember a series, IIRC produced in Greece, of REMBETIKA and
other Greek music - must have been 40 or more CD's. I have
some of them, but can't get to them at the moment.   Anyone
know that series - can you provide a list?
Thanks, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 04:20 PM

Good source, good service.


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 04:28 PM

did a little digging: the massive series of CD's
I remember were issued by F.M. Records, THE GREEK ARCHIVES.
There are also some interesting issues by TRIKONT (Germany).
Best wishes, Thomas.


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Subject: RE: A brief rebetika discography
From: GUEST,Francesco Martinelli
Date: 10 Apr 12 - 01:25 AM

As far as books in English are concerned, one should add the English translation of Petropoulos smaller opus: Songs of the Greek Underworld: The Rebetika Tradition, translated by Ed Emery who with the Rebetology Institute promotes the yearly Rebetika gathering in Hydra as well as the Famous Rebetika Band in London. Easy available on the net, and chock-full of interesting stuff. To be totally avoided is Rebetika: Music from the Old Greek Underworld (Black Rose Books) I bought it and it's a scam. The subject is fascinates and requires a lot of pleasant digging!


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