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Andy Moor, one of The Ex’s super-kinetic guitarists, has a long-running pairing with Yannis Kyriakides, a Cypriot sound-artist with a lot of work under his belt. A Life Is A Billion Heartbeats explores the sound and feel of Greek Rebetika music, taking that traditional sound to radically new places, using electronics, guitar and improvisation. LP on Discrepant.

LP £13.99 CREP16/47U

LP on Discrepant. Edition of 500 copies.

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A Life Is A Billion Heartbeats by Yannis Kyriakides & Andy Moor
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8/10 Laurie Staff review, 26 February 2015

What do you get when you combine a spaghetti western, a music box and some abrasive noise? A Terrence Malick film. Well, take that film, set it instead in a rural Greek village full of audio abstractors and you get A Life is a Billion Heartbeats, a frankly bizarre album of treated guitar variations on traditional greek themes that unfold with repeated haunting melodies that fade in and out of the digital mist.

Yannis Kyriakides, well known for his out-there sound experiments and Unsounds label shares the recorded stage with label co-boss Andy Moor, who apparently is the guitarist in a band called The Ex, who are somewhat off my radar. They sound like a band Robin would enjoy after a good green haze. Regardless, his dynamic guitar phrases have nuances that Kyriakides is all too good at detecting and promptly destroying. Because that’s all guitar music is good for nowadays. That whole ‘drums bass guitar vocal band’ shenanigan has reached its inevitable end where every avenue has been thoroughly exhausted by shits with perms. Time for the computers to move in. Picking noise becomes a swarm of glitch bees, fret buzz is morphed into machine-like screeches and clinks, and tonal nicety is splayed into swells of unease.

But what is most admirable about A Life is a Billion Heartbeats is the fact that it hardly ever drops into PURE cacophony. It ranges from dronelike static tones and desert meditations to the original Greek harmony in full colour, all with the noise deluge intensifying and diminishing in turn. All fans of treated instrument/sound art/experimental, take heed.



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