|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
“The haBiBis weave the guitar, lute and bouzouki with consummate ease, in wide chiming choruses and intricate dances over which….voices cast seductive spells”, Rolling Stone.
“Music that can move a listener of whatever ancestry” Doug Spencer – ABC The Planet
ARIA Award winners for Best World Music Album, The haBiBis play intoxicating music from Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in the ‘down under’ style. Plaintive Rebetika (the Greek Blues) rhythmic folk tunes boasting wild clarinet solos, and contemporary ballads move the body and heart.
They are regulars on the major folk and world music festivals’ circuit around Australia and featured recently in the 2008 National Folk Festival. Their music was also featured on the soundtrack for the film Head On.
They have also performed at the Commonwealth Festival and in the Melbourne Festival’s Second Home series and have performed at the Boite’s Millenium Chorus concerts at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall.
The Habibis – Selections 1995 to 2006
Review by Chris Spencer
This was a difficult album for me to review since I do not speak (or understand) any Greek. Presumably, The Habibis formed in 1995 and since that time have recorded two albums. This album features a selection of songs from those two albums, supplemented with a couple of recent recordings. One of those recordings includes a live performance with the 2006 Millennium Chorus that is a melodic tune, highlighting the band’s excellent harmony work that has been well recorded. Another song from the same concert “Mes Tou Egeou” is also featured – a sort of bonus for those of you who bought the band’s previous recordings. All of the songs are traditional songs, with the exceptions of “Milo Mou Kokkino” and “Yenithika Yia Na Pono”. Several of the songs are not of Greek origin, but from Macedonia (a matter of debate for some Greeks no doubt), Crete and Asia Minor. The vocals are mixed between male and female, providing contrast and variety, and there are a couple of instrumentals, such as “Sigathistos” and another with a non-Greek name “Thrash in 5”. A member of the band, writing on his Myspace site, describes the band thus: “play traditional, demotika, rebetika and contemporary ballads; [weaving] the guitar, lute and bouzouki with consummate ease, in wide chiming choruses and intricate dances”. If Greek music is your thing and you do not have either of the band’s previous releases, have a listen.
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