Top-5: Chris Kontos

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Happy to welcome back our friend Chris, Athens-based photographer, Kennedy Magazine’s founder and one of our fave DJs around. Every time we heard him, Chris blew us away with his warm-up skills, trancey vibes and colorful melodies, emotional songs and unknown 12″s. So after a phenomenal podcast, he recorded for us late 2014, he’s back with a selection of five records he enjoys listening “from start to finish” on his home setup. Music from Greece, California, Japan, and Israel.

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Batang Frisco – Batang Frisco LP [Self-released, 1986]

Discogs

I think this is one of the most exciting LPs I own and one that can play from start to finish without changing the record. I guess that’s the essence of a good record or LP. That’s why I did not include 7″ or 12″ in this list. The first track I heard from this private press release from SF was Myth. A haunting track really that takes you on a quite unforgettable trip. I found a copy on eBay and bought directly through the artist Bill Di Michele. I guess the guys never sold any copies back in 1986. The copy was pristine new with a drawing and small note from Bill. It was such a special feeling getting that warm note from another time. These unsung heroes are for me the stars of our life here on earth. All these people that never reached the establishment and made their own little history. The record is just one of the best new wave records ever and doesn’t have a single weak spot. Surreal lyrics, crazy synths and amazing vocals with crazy guitars throughout. A classic.


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Nurit Galron – נתן זך LP [CBS, 1981]

Discogs

This is a record I discovered through the amazing channel Okonkole Y Trompa. I fell in love with the track on their channel immediately. I kind of fell a connection that was almost a dejavu moment a memory from another life. I have to say that it is one of my favourite tracks ever. Just everything about it is right. Emotional, the orchestration just shines, the bassline but more than everything the vocals which are just magic. I bought the record and discovered that it is an amazing LP from start to finish. Ballads, jazz, bossa that never takes off but keeps everything to subtle whisper. Like an Israeli version of Faizur’s seminal Mariftee Feek and maybe even better!


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Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος & Σπυριδούλα ‎– Φλου LP [Harvest, 1979]

Discogs

This is probably one of the most special records in this list for many reasons. Paulos Sidiropoulos was a really legendary figure in the Greek music scene. The grandson of Alexis Zorbas of Kazantzakis fame and Elis Alexiou, an important figure of Greek culture. Sidiropoulos burned our really fast, dying at the age of 42 from a heroin overdose and leading a real rock and roll life with a crazy love affair with poet Yola Apostolopoulou. In 1979 he recorded with Spyridoula this album that stays as the cornerstone of Greek rock music and is a personal favorite. A record I hated as a younger person because of its connotations but learned to love through the years. More than a vivid picture of a certain era of dark times of Greek history right after the junta, it’s a marvel of a record with elements of rock funk psychedelia and lyrically exorcizing all the demons of Sidiropoulos. The band is in top form and deliver a solid performance from start to finish keeping the tempo frenetically. The references to booze and heroin and all over with the track “The stuff” talking clearly about the “Golden Brown”. A record that is a whole era of modern Greek history!


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Su Tissue – Salon De Musique LP [Adversity Ltd, 1984]

Discogs

This is one of those records that I pray that no ones ever reissues. It would be like forging copies of the La Plage de Trouville of Monet. Some things have to stay special in life. Like this record which is probably the most elusive and special record I own. I’m gonna say much about it. It’s a mystery how it happened and why and I have no idea what Su Tissue did after Suburban Lawns and this record or if she is still alive. In my book, this is the best record ever and one to take to the grave with.


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Kazuhiko Katoh – Super Gas LP [Capitol Records, 1971]

Discogs

Last but not least another record that flows from start to finish and can take you to another special place. Not your usual expensive Japanese city pot, ambient release but a folk record from 1971 that sports probably one of my favorite cover artworks ever. A record so warm that just needs a good cup of tea (or acid) and can play through your speakers caressing you like a warm hand. A true landmark in Japanese music in my opinion and one of the most played record in my collection if that says anything at all!


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Texts & pics Chris Kontos. Cover photo Sasha Tessio.

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Top-5: Charles Bals

Charles Bals, Düsseldorf-based collector of “the failed disco attempts, private records and border genres” shared 5 favorite 7″ records from his collection