Stelios Mpikakis

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Stelios Mpikakis: I Figi (The Getaway)

Music Review By Katerina Arabatzi

Stelios Mpikakis h fygiI Figi (The Getaway) is a CD that gathers the sounds of Crete and Greece in a fresh and outstanding synthesis.

The CD was published in 2001 by Central Music LTD. It consists of 10 songs, all of which can help familiarise you with Greek music. The music of Stelios Mpikakis in this cd is not traditional Cretan music, but contains many echoes of the artist’s roots in this island.

Stelios Mpikakis is quite a famous singer in Crete. Most of his songs’ lyrics are written by him, and the music is also composed by him. He was born in Rethymnon in 1965. He has played the lyre since he was 14 and has performed in public since the early age of 16. His particular synthesis is influenced from Cretan music, as well as from other kinds of Greek music.

Many people in Crete have criticized him for diverging from what they’re used to nominating as “Cretan music” but Mpikakis successfully manages to blend different Greek sounds into an outstanding result. On the other hand some believe that his songs constitute an aspect of the evolution of traditional music of Crete.

In this particular CD you will hear sounds of lute, lyre, violin, guitar, bass, ‘baglama’ (a traditional Greek instrument), clarinet, nei, percussion/drums and piano/keyboards.

Performing:
   Yannis Sissakis:  lute, vocals
   Thanasis Vasilopoulos: clarinet, nei
   Yannis Yokarinis: piano/keyboards
   Yorgos Troulinos: bass
   Vasilis Klouvatos:  violin
   Stelios Mpikakis: vocals, lyre
   Yorgos Retikas: guitar, baglama
   Takis Argiriou: percussion
   Christian: drums

This was his ‘best-seller’ CD, with the track 01 “Birthday” being very popular among the people of Crete. With his kind of sad voice, Mpikakis can take you to ”meet” apart from Cretan music, sounds of the East, of the Northern Aegean islands, (track no 5 "Melahrino" is a traditional Lesvos’ song). Hearing this can also offer you a short experience of rempetika music, one of the most important pages of Greek musical history.

Music Samples from the CD of Stelios Mpikakis:

  1. Genethlia (Birthday)
  2. I Figi (Getaway)
  3. Melahrino


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