Rembetika German
Twenty years after the huge success of 'Five Greeks in Hell', Trikont's first Rembetika compilation, comes a new CD of early, rare and uncensored recordings from the seedy underbelly of Greek culture, featuring such legendary singers of the old Rembetika style as Anestis Delias, Markos Vamvakaris, Jovan Tsaous, Jorgos Batis, Jorgos Katsaros, and many others.
Rembetika is to Greece what Flamenco is to Spain, Fado to ortugal and Tango to Argentina. It originated during the late 19th century, becoming the folk music of the cities, sung by the social outcast, the criminal and the dispossessed, the so-called "rembetes" and "manges", in the illegal hashish taverns of the urban underground. Hard gut-wrenching songs of passion, drugs, jail, disease and death. The blues of the Greek peninsular.

Rembetika seems to be the Greek cultural equivalent to Spanish Flamenco, Portuguese Fado, to Latin American Tango/Mambo/ChaChaCha/Cumbia or to American Blues.
'Rembetika' means the folkmusic from the suburbs of Greece, the music of the outlaws. This musical phenomenon, performed by people from proletarian background, has its origins in the oppression of subversive thinking of all those people/outlaws and foreigners who moved into Greece during the 30s.
They created their own culture down in the suburbs, near the harbours of Thessaloniki and Piräus. The Rembetes loved to sing about drugs and jail, where the police put them far too often for smoking their pot. Other recurring themes were disease, passion, surviving in the suburbs and of course: dope, that is using/smoking the Arjiles (Greek dope/water pipe). The Rembetes were the true 'dopeheads' long before BeBop-God Charlie Parker or the Beatniks came along.
The story of Rembetika represents the unofficial side of Greek history: It tells the story of how the military government during the dictatorship mistreated and abused the Rembetes and their music.

Most of these wonderful songs on this double CD were recorded during the period between 1926 and 1937 when Rembetika was really 'hip' and 'big'. Then the dictator Metaxa and the Nazis took over: the lovely Ägais country and the whole Rembetika movement came to a complete standstill until the end of the war.

Rembetika is the music of the Greek underground. Songs about love, dope and survival.

Publisher: Christos Davidopoulos, manager of the Optimal Recordstore in Munich, Greek, a passionate swimmer and Rembetika collector.

Songs of teh Greek Underground

last updated: 26.10.2001 | top