Nikos Veliotis

"Folklor Invalid" (CD) October 2013 Antifrost |afro2062|

 

VITAL (NL)Nikos Veliotis plays the cello in Muhammad, and is also known for doing so solo and in improvisation with others. In May 2013 he recorded his 'Folklor Invalid' in Knot Gallery and Camp Gallery in Athens and the cover lists "Screamers: Bella Fuzz, Natasha Giannaraki, Nalyssa Green, Anastasis Grivas, Simos Kakalas, Yorgia Karidi, Thanos Kois, Kouza Dimitra, Elena Mavridou, Danae Stefanou". This piece starts out very soft, stops for some time, continuous for even longer and repeats that a couple of times, but growing immensely on the volume side of things. This is mostly a work for amplified cello. Up to the minute 22 this is quite alright, but beyond that the sound gets oppressive and loud, very heavy on the low end of things, which makes your house rumble like a madman. In the final ten minutes (32-42) this is even more emphasized and maybe it's here we have the screamers. It sounds like it at least. It's one hellish work, a decent straight into the underworld of death. It's noise for sure, but then a most atypical one. Mainly acoustic, it seems, with some help of electronics, but then very loud indeed. A heavy meal.

LE SON DU GRISLI (FR) Enregistré par Coti& Giannis Kotsonis en galerie athénienne le 15 mai dernier, Folklor Invalid donne à entendre Nikos Veliotis assailli par diverses tentations, puis composant avec toutes.
Celle, d’abord, de bourdons et de longs silences se disputant la direction de cette pièce de musique pour violoncelle seul. Après chaque pause, l’archet appuie sur les cordes un peu davantage : quelques accrocs chantent alors sur le balancement d’une note unique, le ressac peaufine dans l’ombre un ronflement que nourrit un ampli, un grésillement trouve un repli sur souffles graves et rumeurs urbaines (public, trafic dans la rue).  
La reprise suivante sera terrible : la contrebasse est maintenant de métal et de métal seulement. L’archet peine sur les cordes, trébuche, retourne l’épreuve à force de dérapages. Veliotis progresse en champ drone doom, qu’il augmentera des cris de spectres de son invention tourmentée. De drone en metal et de metal en noise, le contrebassiste est passé avec un aplomb rare : sur quarante minutes de Folklor Invalid terminées par un cri qui – après un silence long de combien ? – devrait revenir à son tour.

TOUCHING EXTREMES (IT)Nikos Veliotis: music; Bella Fuzz, Natasha Giannaraki, Nalyssa Green, Anastasis Grivas, Simos Kakalas, Yorgia Karidi, Thanos Kois, Kouza Dimitra, Elena Mavridou, Danae Stefanou: screamingA solitary, ceaseless low cello note paints blackness over the surface of nothingness, but soon stops to contemplate that very silence. Seconds slip by, and the drone reaffirms its needs. This time its tactile properties are thicker and the throbbing sensed more dramatically, the whole setting the listener on a topographic point where the rational substance is dwindling away while nerve reaction begins to seriously count. As we’ve entered the zone and float across inside and outside consciousness, the forbidding moan grinds to a halt again. The next stage is a harsh alteration, a development if you prefer, of the initial trace: the sensation is that of standing unprotected in front of a thorough sandblasting of the cerebrum as the frequencies get stridently prominent, hints of mechanical reiterativeness materialize, the level of ominousness approaching red. When we accept that all of the above will just mean “physical violation by the essence of buzzing clangor”, the last ten minutes deliver the terminal surprise. The shrieking choir – finely merged within the instrumental layers – improve the music’s heaviness with an equally massive stock; hell is raised until the sudden death of all. The endmost extremity surpassed, ears are left ringing for several instants. Of rather simple constitution yet highly aggressive, this work by Veliotis seems to represent the inevitableness of human involution: a sheer line turns int disorderliness, soundless harmony increasingly desecrated, despair and excruciation replacing what at the beginning we already had to live equably: sounds, quietness. Then the big illusion of feeble-minded midgets presuming themselves to act at the core of universal power in the name of some kind of controlling “god” began, the consequences well visible on most everybody’s countenance. That misconception will probably be extinguished sooner than many people expect: no tears or screaming anger will be useful at that moment. The ultimate murmuration will prevail, the universe proceeding after having brushed that annoying anthropomorphic dandruff off its shoulders.