The 2nd album by Xylouris White, a musical collaboration established in 2013, involving Greek singer and laouto player George Xylouris and Australian.
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When Xylouris White recorded their second album, this most intuitive and inquisitive of duos did what comes naturally to them: expanded their horizons. For George Xylouris, the Cretan lute player who partners here with the Dirty Three’s preternaturally fluent Australian drummer Jim White, one aim was to extend a core metaphor of their ruggedly visionary debut album, 2014’s Goats. Like goats walking in the mountain is Xylouris’s poetic analogy for their approach: They may not know the place, but they can walk easily and take risks and feel comfortable. Partly, Black Peak pays testimony to both men’s remarkable histories. One of Crete’s best-loved artists, Xylouris is a scion of Greek musical royalty, a family from a mountain village near the Cave of Zeus. His father is revered singer, lyra player Psarandonis.
From the get-go Black Peak leans on harder rocking vocal songs. The titular opening track has the duo amping up the energy, locking into a tom-heavy beat, and introducing Xylouris’ powerful vocals
Xylouris White are an unlikely duo. George Xylouris is a distinguished exponent of the Cretan lute, while Jim White is an Australian drummer, best known for his work with the instrumental rock band Dirty Three.
Album · 2016 · 7 Songs. Black Peak Xylouris White. More By Xylouris White. See All. Forging - Single.
When Xylouris White recorded their second album, this most intuitive and inquisitive of duos did what comes naturally to them: expanded their horizons. Just as other parties helped unite them, so the path to Black Peak was trod with support. The producer is Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, as on Goats; the ghostly harmonies on Erotokritos come from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. All these things together, Jim from Australia, me from Crete, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy from Kentucky, Psarandonis from Crete, Guy Picciotto from Washington give us the inspiration of the horizon, says Xylouris.
Filled with passionate vocal numbers, Black Peak fully incorporates folk tradition within it, extending the folkloric line from antiquity. The opening title track commences with Xylouris introducing a scalar melody on his laouto (long-necked lute), then mute-strumming rhythmically, adding ballast to White's shockingly direct (for him) rock & roll snare/tom-tom beat.
Xylouris White – Black Peak. Xylouris White – Black Peak. With so much of what is labelled world music, the appeal is not always the lure of the Other. In many cases we are seeking a twist on the familiar, be it Tuareg musicians who sound like galloping heavy metal bands, Bollywood musicians making slightly wonky disco, or Nigerian dance bands making pulsating big-band funk. The title track of the album opens with a sparkly, plucked riff, backed by pounding floor toms and a stentorian vocal. Forging is a powerful one-chord drone that mixes a proggy, chiming metal riff with some thunderous drum pattern and sees Xylouris forcing out a simple four-note melody at the upper end of his vocal register.