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Making Zeus dance

img  Tobias

„Things in Greece are really disappointing, I'm afraid”.Kostas K tells me when talking about his home, “There's a huge gathering around the mainstream. Underground and experimental forms of music & art have no good luck here.” Could it be true? Is this the country which gave birth to Xenakis and Theodorakis and from whose breast Diamanda Galas sucked her first drops of creative milk? Kostas, who hides his surname behind the letter “K” like the protagonist of a Kafka-novel, has no doubts about the dire state of his current residence Athens: “Every club owner will try to suck up your last penny and there's no chance to see lour favourite artists perform live here.” The conclusion was easy: Instead of complaining, something needed to be done. This is how Spectraliquid, Greece’s new alternative in media projects, was born.

Founded on an Island
In the Summer of 2006, Kostas K was spending his vacation with four good friends on an island. All of them artists from diverse fields, the thought of finally organising concerts themselves came up without any external pressure, nor intentions of turning this into a cash cow. The first idea was to simply act as a community and a medium: “We're all musicians or artists... and we wanted a decent way to promote our work and other people's work. The way we want it, without anyone taking advantage of us.”

Back in Athens, the team started organising themselves first. A webspace was created, as was a MySpace account, which paid its dividends by getting them in touch with artists from all around Europe. Contacts with concert halls followed, both as performing artists and event hosts.

The idea of combining different arts was always part of the program: “Combining images seemlessly with music is the ultimate form of art.”, Kostas K explains, “All the feelings that you get by music can be maximised, when there's a perfectly matching visual contact.” Today, Spectraliquid dabbles in photography, video clips and even painting. In August, they announced their greatest venture in the visual word yet, taking on board Australian artist Shane Bishop, whose multifacetted work from portraits to super-realism is sure to make a perfect match for the crew’s music.

Not a record company

Spectraliquid is an open organisation. It might have a clear structure and rely strongly on its team spirit. But its interests lie in paying respect to the expressions of others and of welcoming anyone with a similar attitude into its fold. When I ask Kostas about who should contact him, he replies: “Anyone. Musicians (mainly from the electronic scene), Video artists/VJs, Graphic Designers, Painters, Performing Arts People etc. The only thing that matters is the quality of their work.” What Spectraliquid, however, decidedly is NOT, is a music label. To make this abundantly clear and because of the many requests coming from artists, the group has even pasted  “This is not a record label” right on top of their MySpace account.

A triumphant Concert
While Spectraliquid prepares for its activities in the field of painting, event organising has turned into their most succesful pilar. On the 27th of October, they will celebrate their second co-operation with German label Ad Noiseam by staging the concert of Dutch cut up wizzard Bong-Ra at the BIOS Basement in Athens. And in May, Kostas and his friends even managed to bring over the psychedelic breakbeats and dark mental moods of Ah Cama – Sotz to Greece:

“It was kinda difficult to decide because there would be a huge rental fee for the venue we wanted to book and being aware of the fact that last time he was here with Winterkalte, it had 20-30 people only.” Spectraliquid decided to go ahead with the project anyway – and turned it into a triumph: “There were 150 people dancing like crazy to the tunes of Xsoz, Kernelcoremode, Mobthrow and, of course, Ah Cama – Sotz”. It wouldn’t take long, before equally respected artists started knocking on their door.

Getting Greece back on Track
Despite their aversion towards turning into a label, Spectraliquid will nevertheless be releasing a collection of tracks by various artists this autumn. It has to be seen as a mission statement rather than a full-blown step towards turning into a record company and will prepare for soon-to-come solo releases by all team members. On the other hand, who knows what can happen. Things have definitely moved on their own accord in many respects. When Kostas K started out, he had never before been active in this line of work. Now he says: “If we’d had some experience, we might never have decided to do it.” It was this kind of positive and refreshing attitude, which once turned Greece into a centre of the experimental arts.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Spectraliquid
Homepage: Spectraliquid at MySpace

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