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Xylouris White (GR/AU)

Seamless mystique

The mixture of the two musicians in Xylouris White is as unlikely and unexpected as it is unique. Their geographical background is not always so apparent as they are pulling inspiration from the whole world, but it is telling for where they are coming from and ho the music came to be. George Xylouris from Crete has been playing lute since he was little and for many years he toured with his father Antonis Xylouris, better known as Psarandonis, a local legend who for many years have been pushing boundaries for Greek folk music. His uncle Nikos Xylouris is one of the great Greek musical icons, and have built the ground work for today’s modern Greek music. On one of his father’s tours George met the Australian drummer Jim White. He is best known through his band Dirty Three, but also a well-known musician that has played with artists like PJ Harvey, Cat Power and Nick Cave.

Their friendship runs back to the early 90’s, but they didn’t work together musically before in 2014 when they released their debut album Goats. Last year they followed up with Black Peaks on te record company Bella Union, and the collaboration have matured and become even more explorative. Jim White is quite dominant in the sound stage than normal, but they balance it delicately and never becomes too much. Often the interplay between the drums and the rest of the band is what makes it so exciting, and makes the genres melt together nicely. It’s shifts between jazz and post-punk as easily as rhythms from both bluegrass and klezmer flows in and out, often several times within the same song. It is music that can only get better when played live.

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