Sunday, 9 January 2011

#9: Fos

New Narcotic of the Day #9:

Time for something strange, artistic and wondrous to close the weekend with Fos, the musical project of a Greek artist, Katerina Koutouzi, residing in London town. She has released two albums on Near The Exit music and is continuing her uniquely personal and emotive musical journey, crafting tracks that bob, duck and dive out of the way of genre expectations, moving in such unexpected directions that defy logic but placate the ear.

'Un Courant' is a harmonium led gem, using such a distinct sound to create a general sense of unease and cinematic tension whilst the low, humming vocals rumble atop it all. A mixture of instrumentation show's itself up in the work of Fos, with Katerina showcasing her prowess with pianos, harmoniums, accordians and glockenspiels, as well as projecting a hauntingly evocative voice.

The music of Fos has a folktastic base that spirals wildy off towards avant garde directions whilst maintaining a sense of calm pop in the way each song is constructed and the avenues they explore. 'With The Seagulls II' uses a deeply affecting piano riff to set up actual seagull effects and a sudden driving beat, adding a dance tinge to what first appears to be a folk-pop exploration. After a few listens, however, the music starts to feel like an artistic expression via sound and melody, with Fos using noise as a true artform and, more importantly, as her artistic voice. The likes of 'Mnimi' is a vocal and harmonious experiment (that works wonderfully) and 'In Harmony' takes a gentle, twinkling ideology, sparkling with a dream-like sense of awe.

Fos has developed an enormously overwhelming ability to spin together an assortment and array of oddities in terms of sound and style, weaving them together on a giant loom into a tapestry of melody, art, rhythm and hazy dreams. Catch her at the Shh Festival on 22nd January at Cecil Sharp House to try and experience her own unimaginable world in person.

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