Two years ago “Goats”, Xylouris White’s impressive debut album, climbed at the top of Greece’s best albums of 2014 on beehype.
The duo of George Xylouris from Crete Island and Jim White from Australia has shaken up the world’s music map with its nine stunning compositions of raw post-punk and traditional Cretan folk music.
Now they have returned with their second full length album, which includes seven compositions with the same dark avant-gardish elegance, but this time with fewer instrumental tracks and more spoken words to accompany their stormy music. Most of the lyrics are poems by Mitsos Stavrakakis, but Xylouris’ lute (Λάουτο in Greek) and White’s drums are still the driving force of their second effort, “Black Peak”, by Bella Union.
And while the baritone Greek vocals of George Xylouris rise on the surface, the chaotic improvisation gives space to more low tempo harmonies, mixed with darkness. “Black Peak” is far more atmospheric and spiritual than their first album. For example, listen to the doomy tenderness of “Erotokritos (Opening)” with the additional vocals from Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
Xylouris White is not an ordinary music duo of rock or jazz or world music. They definitely have their own unique flavor and style. And that’s probably why the music press worldwide embraced them with so much interest and love, while they are touring to each and every corner of the world, having hundreds of live shows every year.
If you still haven’t heard of them, they are worth investigating.
Photo: M. Mathioudakis