Hailing from Crete, Greece, 'Babel Trio' play an interesting mix of folk, heavy rock with progressive and psychedelic elements.
In the band's exact, own words:
"Babel Trio are creating a progressive folk rock, psychedelic music code, rooted in the island of Crete and the Aegean sea. Through the interaction of the timbre of the electric lute with drums and electric bass, the music of Babel, associated with multiple roots, uses a variety of aesthetic references to create original and dynamic compositions bringing up its own musical style."
The members of the band are:
Dimitris Sideris - Custom Electric Lute / Acoustic Cretan Lute
Michalis Avlonitis - Electric Bass / Fretless Electric Bass
Trikalero - Drums
A month ago Babel Trio released their debut album entitled "Roots Electrified". I was aware of their work a while ago before their release still I never had the chance to catch them live but I was very fond of the live tracks that they have officially released on the internet the previous months. To be more accurate, I was literally addicted to the live versions of "Pacharde", "Broken Doga" and "Circular" and I was waiting for the day that they will finally release their debut. The idea of a custom electric lute being the main instrument of a band's compositions was really intriguing, especially after listening to those three great samples of their work.
When I first read the title of the album "Roots Electrified" my mind went straight to the electric lute that Dimitris is using, which is a traditional instrument customized and electrified so that it can be used with contemporary equipment and still play traditional tunes. The title describes perfectly what Babel Trio did in this album: they took all the influences they had from their traditional background, their 'roots', pushed them through their heavy rock 'blender', added their personal, electric touch and created a unique result that in my opinion is capable of turning some heads, no matter what the musical background of the listener is.
If you are aware of the traditional music of Crete or the Aegean in general, be prepared to hear a new 'version' of some of the melodies you've already known for years. If you are unaware of this kind of music, this album could easily be for you an introduction to the traditional tunes of that part of Greece with a lot of influences from the east. The whole album is instrumental but there is one small exception in track 3 "Karouzos Dialog" where the poet 'Nikos Karouzos' is heard reciting a part of its poem "Διάλογος Πρώτος" (First Dialogue).
The production of the album seems to have been done very carefully [recorded at Headroom studio by Telis Aristotelis and mixed and mastered by Nikos Kefaloyanis at the Technical University of music technology and acoustics, Rethymno, Crete, 2017.] and all instruments sound great, providing to the listener a great listening experience. Although I have one remark to make at this point. Having listened to the live versions of some of Babel Trio's tracks and comparing them with their studio versions I would definitely say that I prefer the live versions for they have more passion and they reflect better Babel Trio's style, attitude and performing abilities. I think that this is not a flaw of the production but has mostly to do with the nature of the music. Music in general, but especially traditional music, everywhere in this planet, reveals it's magic 100% only when it's played live. So maybe it would be a good idea for Babel Trio to record a live session somewhere in the near future.
What I really like about Babel Trio and their first release is that they are not trying to copy anyone, they are trying to be original, following their own path. Through the years we have listened to various 'artists' trying to cover traditional songs or make music based on traditional tunes but very few have been able to take traditional music, 'make it their own' and present a brand new result, 'engraved' with their personal touch, and while still respecting the origins, creating something different at the same time. Well "Babel Trio" are doing it..