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Aggelos Baltas is a veteran of the global electronic music scene, responsible for a handful of celebrated EBM 12”s as Dream Weapons, and a particularly heady and open-ended brand of krautrock as Fantastikoi Hxoi. His newest project, Anatolian Weapons, was conceived as a way to bring together these two seemingly mismatched concepts, with the polyrhythmic percussion and wailing tones of Greek folk music serving as their unlikely bonding agent. His output garners praise particularly around the Golden Pudel scene, such as Vladimir Ivkovic, and Phuong Dan. Lena Willikens, from the same circle, included Baltas’ track "Disillusioned" on her Dekmantel Selectors compilation in 2018.
But where much of what Baltas has released as Anatolian Weapons is instantly recognizable as dance music, "To The Mother Of Gods" - Baltas’ debut album for Beats In Space - is something else entirely. Created in tandem with Greek folk musician Seirios Savvaidis, it is a work of simultaneous collaboration and subtraction whose meticulous construction becomes more apparent with every listen. An album-length exploration of what happens when the principles of dance music are applied to pre-digital musical modalities. It is a record of psychedelic folk music that has more in common with Kikagaku Moyo, Minami Deutsch, and the Habibi Funk label than it does with anything else Baltas has produced under any alias.
"To The Mother Of Gods" is a reminder that folk music and dance music are both powered by their audience as much as the musicians themselves. Savvaidis’ lyrics echo pagan Greek themes, touching on what Baltas calls 'the magic of nature.' At times, as on “Kalesma” (“Invitation”), this can feel incantatory. Savvaidis chisels his vocal melodies into hard, clipped syllables, their cadence recalling Gregorian chant, and yet Baltas cloaks these details in washes of distortion. "Ston Stavraito" (“In Stavraithos”) is delivered with a lamentive tenderness that Baltas swells into a prideful stomp, immersing Savvaidis in marching drums and distant vocals that form a resilient protest-song. "To The Mother Of Gods" is a testament to the ongoing and innate truth that music can take us beyond ourselves. That repetition and drone can shepherd us to a liminal space beyond thought and rationality, where the wall between perception and reality does not exist. Call it spirit, if you want, and watch as it courses its way through modern-day dance music, mid-century psych, and the ancient sounds of the anatol.
A1. Tarachti Katarrachti
A2. To The Mother Of Gods
B1. Chaire Eos
B2. Ston Stavraito
B4. Tarachti Katarrachti (Reprise)