Monday, June 14, 2010

REMBETIKA-songs of love,exile,prison and hash dance

Rembetika music is the music of the Greek Underground. It originated in the hashish dens of Pireaus and Thessaloniki around the turn of the 20th century and was influenced by oriental elements that came with the immigration of 2 million Greek refugees from Asia Minor. (Asia Minor is Aegean and Marmara regions) It made use of 2-3 derivatives of the Turkish saz (a.k.a. tampoura and boulgari): The bouzouki and its smaller brothers, the tzouras and the baglamas. The saz itself is a lute but quite different from the archetypal Arab lute, 'al oud' - meaning 'wood'. Rembetika were urban blues of a quasi-criminal subculture, despised by the middle classes and suppressed by the authorities. It is a fusion music of two cultures.

In this album,there is little booklet,giving information and brief history of Rembetika. When you listen to the songs,you can not believe in your ears since you have heard all those songs in Turkish before. As you listen, you understand that the two nations,Greeks and Turks have so much in common.. Being an Izmirian and having ancestors from Crete,this music means so much to me..

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