Music of the Outcasts

VOL. 1  ORAREB 1012

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" Music of the Outcasts " is an excellent contemporary introductory recording that serves well the purpose of a Rebetiko Primer for the great "unwashed". In other words if you are a complete "Newbie" to Rebetiko, then this CD was meant for you. This is one very slick production that boasts liner notes in three languages (Greek, English and French), written by performer/producer Christos Nikopoulos, who serves up a pretty good sampling of a Smyrnaic smorgasbord of material, from that fascinating period. Well thought out and very well recorded, it's an excellent document for those individuals who might have a difficult time, trying to listen to the more authentic archive recordings. That certainly will not be a problem here. In fact this is probably the best CD I have yet heard for the purpose of actually learning the lyrics for the numbers provided. Provided you have some facility with the Greek language . The lyrics are clearly annunciated, as are the instrumental sections. The whole package is first rate and Nikopoulos is to be commended for putting a great deal of time and effort into this project and delivering a package that will hopefully set a new standard in the manner in which Rebetiko music is produced and marketed thru out the world. The Contents of the CD contain compositions by Batis, Toundas, Papazoghlou, as well a few other notables from the Smyrna period. It also contains several compositions by unknown composers that Nikopoulos labels as the "Stray" songs. Apparently according to the liner notes, he became aware of these compositions through various documents provided by Greek immigrants, who came to the USA between 1895 and 1927. In fact some of the first recordings of Greek music actually took place in New York. Anyway singers Yorgos Xinadaris, Stella Kostopoulou and Rodanthi Kotsidou all turn in excellent interpretations of these selections. Very well done !