WHAT YOUR EARS SAY:
WHAT WE SAY
The new LP from ΓΙΑΝ ΒΑΝ for Teranga Beat is a gem. Torn between the gravitational pull of Africa & The Middle East, his drums stabilise the funk & fusion powered sails as they voyage with a cinematic jazz verve around the Eastern Mediterranean melting pot, evoking the many regional hues as they go.
WHAT THE RELEASE NOTES SAY:
Teranga Beat proudly presents the drummer-composer Yannis Angelopoulos, aka Jan Van and his last project "Streams". A well known musician in the Athens jazz scene, accompanied by three fellow musicians, he created an album with a tough background story.
Jan Van started as a drummer in clubs playing popular greek music (laïka) even before he was 18, a typical first step for a musician in Greece. In this way he experienced the underground and in fact the surrealistic atmosphere of the laïka greek clubs. At the age of 20, he started working as a roadie (installing drums) and it was then that he realised a drummer can be a musical director-producer and not just a session musician. So he decided to continue his education and in 1996 he went to study at the Rotterdam’s Conservatorium's (Codarts) Jazz Department, where he stayed for seven years. Soon after his return to Athens he started wondering how to fuse jazz with laïkodimotiko (lumpen, popular music), something detectable in his recent discography.
Since the mid ‘00s, Jan Van has been working on various jazz projects in Athens, even though the years preceding the 2010s were something of a tough period for the local scene, with limited live opportunities. Furthermore, since 2010, Greece has famously been at the epicentre of the global financial crisis. In an already dysfunctional cultural system during this decade, culture eventually became a luxury. Following ten years of recession, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic destroyed the efforts of the country that was struggling to recover and took away any hope.
Under high psychological pressure, Jan Van had the idea of a jam session as a way-out for expression. At the same time, the particular concept of water and its properties were stuck in his mind. Water’s fluidity and momentum and the idea of a quiet streaming state, shaped the only concept he eventually shared with his fellow musicians before starting to play. He only wanted them to have the energy of the water as a reference.
By the end of May, a few days after the end of the lockdown, they gathered in a studio and recorded a live session of spontaneous compositions and improvisations. During that session each musician took a step back to listen and give space to one another. None of the tracks was composed before the recording. The result is a deep album which consists of organic beats with spiritual jazz vibes, sometimes exploring fusions with demotika (traditional) elements, sometimes leaning to cinematic atmospheres.
The recording was mixed on 2 inch reel tape with analog equipment, to achieve the best possible sound quality. The LP version of the album is a Deluxe Edition and comes with a high gloss laminated gatefold cover and a digital download code.
CreditsYannis Angelopoulos aka Jan Van: Drums
Paraskevas Kitsos: Bass
Vangelis Stefanopoulos: Piano
Fotis Siotas: Violin, Viol, Voice
Recorded by Yannis Angelopoulos at Babo Studio
Mixed by Theodoros Bournas at Arkadikon Studio in Thessaloniki
Mastering by Stephanos Konstantinidis at Fabrika Sonic Arts Studio in Athens
Art work and photos by Adamantios Kafetzis
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OUR MISSION STATEMENT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS
Lazy Days, Hazy Moments & Dancing to a Slower Groove