Monday, 11th June sees WMN release a digital only album by Greek guitar virtuoso Dimitris Mistakidis. Known for his collaborations on the rebetika scene and celebrated for his reinventions of the classic rebetika repertoire, he has produced this beautiful debut solo album Introducing Dimitris Mistakidis, originally released as 16 Rebetika Tragoudhia Paigmena Me Kitharaor 16 Rebetic Songs Played On Guitar.
Rebetika, an underground music especially popular in the first half of the 20th century in Greece, has seen a revival in the last decade. Mistakidis contributes to this revival, but by focusing solely on the guitar, he reminds rebetika lovers not to overlook this instrument, as it has always been played along with the bouzouki and baglamás.
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Rebetika originates from an urban, underclass environment. It is thus not surprising that the topics of the songs on Mistakidis’ album, which have mostly been written by various composers in the 1930s, covers topics that range from crime, drugs and love. This album showcases his supreme mastery of the guitar, and his emotive rough and ready vocals. With his tangled hair and glowing cigarette, Mistakidis looks and sounds every part the rebellious rebetika singer.
Below, a performance of Mistakidis with various other instrumentalists on Greek television: