Gidiki – “Πέρασμα” (Album Review)

By Sotiris Bekas

Gidiki is one of the bands that, by confidently drawing from folk music, has managed to expand its audience, especially thanks to their live performances, which take place not only in Athens or other parts of Greece but also abroad. Its members, Tasos Koufodimos (lute), Konstantinos Lazos (guitar), Konstantis Papakonstantinou (percussion), Thodoris Sioutis (violin), and Alexandros Karlis (double bass), have managed to develop an interesting “dialogue” with pure folk music through improvisation, continuously adding elements to their interpretative approach and offering a concert experience full of energy and interaction, like a “modern urban celebration,” as they describe it.

In 2023, the group released their first album titled “AHOY,” which drew attention both in Greece and internationally. Following this, just a year later (June 2024), Gidiki returns with a self-managed production, titled “Πέρασμα(Passage).

In their prepared description, the band members note that “the Greek word “Πέρασμα” (Perasma), meaning “passage”, encompasses various contexts and applications. Literally, it refers to a route or path that allows movement from one place to another, such as a narrow corridor through mountains. In the realm of time, “perasma” signifies the flow or progression of time, highlighting the way moments and eras transition into one another. Additionally, “perasma” can describe a transition or change, such as the shift from one phase of life to another, underscoring significant transformations. Thus, “perasma” beautifully encapsulates the essence of movement, whether through space, time, words, or experiences.Traditional music acts as a “perasma” across generations, evolving and morphing like a living organism, striving to endure the test of time, much like a lighthouse that guides and maintains a connection with the past while illuminating the path to the future.


Indeed, the material that Gidiki has prepared and presents in their second album is a “passage.” One can expand the interpretation of the concept with philosophical undertones, and rightly so, since folk songs, as works of folk art that have undergone many years of transformation, reveal to the attentive listener wisdom and a multi-layered interpretation of concepts. On a second reading, however, and in this particular case, “passage” refers to the choice of repertoire based on a list of songs that Gidiki covers, which come from different regions of Greece (Thrace, Kythera, Macedonia, Ikaria, Dodecanese, Crete), thus passing interpretatively from one to the other. These are popular songs (Tsamourikos, Palaeos Ikariotikos / Sympethera, Thodora, Me Gelasan ta Poulia, Makrinitsa, Messaritikos, Pained Heart, Bratshera) that have known many interpretations and are, of course, very beloved (for some years now, even) by the young audience, which organizes celebrations in urban settings, illuminating any fog of a life with very fast rhythms that tend to hide every “sunbeam” that passes through the crack. 


Gidiki approaches these songs with musical generosity, giving space and time to the interpretations, while entrusting Ioulia Karapataki, Nefeli Fasouli, and Alexandros Ktistakis to sing, in addition to the members themselves. The result is interesting (the least), while this particular choice confirms another observation. In the last (very recent) decades, folk songs have broadened their acceptance, have passed into the dynamic, young audience (with an acceptance that continues to grow), and even to artists who did not have a strict and immediate connection with this particular genre. But this is what certifies the musical genre as “folk” and brings renewal. At the same time, the musicians of the first generation who supported and revived folk music with knowledge and interpretative genius, receiving from the older “myths,” still have much to offer…

Listen to “Passage” here  Spotify

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