Grippy Grappa (Monsieur Doumani, 2013)
Monsieur Doumani is a world music group from the small island nation of Cyprus, located in the Mediterranean. The band was formed in 2011 in Nicosia. The trio includes Antonis Antoniou on tzouras (a stringed instrument related to the bouzouki), Angelos Ionas on guitar, and Demetris Yiasemides on wind instruments.
The album Grippy Grappa is a lively mix of Cypriot folk music, modern and global music elements and good humor. Grippy Grappa includes fascinating tzouras and flute interplays, Balkan brass band sounds, bluesy guitar, Gypsy swing and even funk.
The material selected for the album includes 11 rearrangements of traditional Cypriot songs and 3 original pieces. “Ahaparos”, one of the original compositions is a satirical song with music and lyrics by Antonis Antoniou that was inspired by an untimely incident that the group experienced at a festival in Cyprus last year. “Peakin Myroaton”, also written by Antoniou, makes reference to the recent financial crisis in Cyprus.
Grippy Grappa featured a few guests. Maroulla Constantinou from Astromeritis appears on “Peakin Myroaton.” Other guests are Symis Soukiouroglou on clarinet and vocals, and Dimitris Aristidou and Efthymia Alphas on vocals.
The album’s cover is by renowned Cypriot designer and storyteller, Hambis Tsaggaris from his book “O Spanos tzai oi 40 Dratzioi” (Spanos and the 40 Dragons).
Grippy Grappa is a spirited collection of traditional and contemporary Cypriot music through the lens of Monsieur Doumani, a group formed by some of Cyprus’ most interesting musicians.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.