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Ano Kato - Levèndes apo ta xèna (Ipirótika & Nisiótika tragoúdia)

Fellows from abroad

PAN-Records 181CD, 55'58, 10 tracks, 1999

In recent years, apart from playing rebètika and laïká, Ano Kato has been playing dhimotiká as well – mainly dhimotiká from the Aegean islands and the northern mountain range of the Epirus.

This cd contains Greek songs and improvisations, originating from those regions. Both the clarinet and the violin play an important role in this genre of music. Besides those, characteristic accompaniment instruments like the laouto (Greek lute) and the Epirotic dèfi (a kind of heavy tambourine) are used.

Music from the Eprius is characterized by heavy tension and an almost trance-inducing quality. The music can sometimes be as fitful as the rough mountain range it originates from.  The lyrics, often filled with grief, enhance the drawing, rather pained melodies from the singer and the clarinet. The violin shows compassion by humming along like a honey-bee. In short: the ‘Greek mountain blues’.

Music from the islands on the other hand is rather bright and reminds of wind and water. The songs are about the ocean - dangerous at times, about seafaring, about lovers in strange harbors and about the beauty of the islands. Because there are numerous islands in Greece, there also are many types of island music.

On this cd we find examples of both kinds of music. The themes are mainly ‘not being where you want to be’ and ‘(lost) love’.

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IBAN Number: NL23 INGB 0003171797
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Ano Kato
Lottinge 37 
9481 GW  Vries
The Netherlands

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Ano Kato - I Tris Ano Kato  (Protes Ichografisis)

The three upside down. First recordings (1987)

AK 004, 46'31, 14 tracks, 2003

15 years of Ano Kato,  an anniversary cd with very old material!

In the summer of 1987, a few months after the group Ano Kato was formed (at that time still known by the name I Tris Ano Kato), recording sessions took place in Assen, The Netherlands. These recordings were produced, on a small scale, on cassette tapes. In 2003 those first recordings once again were produced, but this time on cd. Authentical, without fuss, but with lots of fun and humor!

Besides a couple of beautiful firm rebétika-songs this album contains seven compositions by Manos Hatzidakis. Six of them are instrumental, set in a very typical I Tris Ano Kato orchestration.

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Ano Kato - Chtes ta káname   (Rebètika tragoúdia)

Yesterday we did put things upside down

PAN-Records 144CD, 66'29, 17 tracks, 1992

This is a cd from ‘the old times’, before 1993, when Ano Kato still was a trio with Tim Meeuws as singer and baglamas player.

During those years, Ano Kato played as support act for Michalis Yenitsaris, went to Greece a couple of times to perform and do radio- and television shows (f.e. Antenna). Also, they recorded the documentary Rebètika, the blues from Greece for Dutch television. See photogallery.

Following those experiences Ano Kato decided to produce a cd with rebètika and early laïká: Ano Kato – Chtes ta káname.

The name of the band – and the title of this cd – was derived from the first line of the famous song I Drossoula from one of the legends of rebètika: Vasilis Tsitsanis. Many of Tsitsanis’ compositions can be found on the cd, but also songs from Mitsakis, Yenitsaris, Skarpelis, Moutsis, Peristeris, Chrisinis, Bayanderas and Xarchakos.  

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Rembettika - The Greek Blues

NOS- EBU documentary with Ano Kato in Greece (Athens)

DVD 35'00 minutes, 1992
Dutch and Greek spoken, Dutch subtitels 

Ano Kato went in 1992 to Greece with a camera-team from the Dutch state television broadcasting (NOS) for making the EBU documentary 'Rembèttika, the Greek blues' directed by Rolan Hurioglu. 

This documentary is full of music and interviews with musicians, musicologists and descendants of original immigrants and other specialists.
The members of Ano Kato did visit several important rembettika composers and musicians and did play with them together. Fantastic were the meetings with celebrity's like Georgos Mitsakis en Michalis Yenitsaris.
Mitsakis did pass away shortly after the shooting of this documentary - he was already very sick during this interview but this was not visible at all because of his positive and optimistic attidude. At the moment Yenitsaris did pass away also. The members Ano Kato are very honoured that they could meet these 'big shots'!

'Rebètika, the Greek blues' was broadcast several times in 1992 and 1993.

Order this DVD:
Please send 20,00 euro to
IBAN Number: NL23 INGB 0003171797
Bankname: ING BANK N.V

This is the account of:
Ano Kato
Lottinge 37 
9481 GW  Vries
The Netherlands

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Review magazine f Roots (England)  

Levendes apo ta xena

By Chris Williams

Ano Kato is a group of Dutch musicians.  
On this cd
they perform songs from Epirus and the Greek islands.  

Theo Van Halen plays delightful clarinet, It takes courage to tackle a piece as emblematic to Epirotic (and Peloponnesian) traditions as Itia, but he does it very successfully and also brings an unusual delicacy of phrasing to this and other pieces. At other times he lets rip with gutsy solos, particularly on the fifth track.

The clarinet is complemented by Michiel van der Meulen on violin. This is less prominent overall than the clarinet although it is more to the fore on the island songs such as Armenaki. There is nice moment in Petra o dolios tha yiriso where they blend seamlessly in a jointly executed solo. 

Michiel Koperdraat and Jurrie Eilers successfully render the very different vocal styles involved, and Andy Leeming provides solid percussion on the tambourine and darbouka.
Michiel Koperdraat also plays a neat santouri solo on O ilios vasilevei. The record closes with a full two minutes of the chirping of an unnamed cicada.

Anyone performing music from outside his/her culture is immediately subjected to scrutiny and it is pleasing to report that Ano Kato make a very good job of it indeed. Moreover they add a layer of freshness and delicacy that make these valuable interpretations in their own right, not just highly competent versions of traditional pieces.

More info:

Vereniging Ano Kato
Lottinge 37, 9481 GW Vries
Tel: (+31-0) 592 544833


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