National Music Reviews October 2015

Review: Imam Baildi – III

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Imam Baildi

Imam Baildi
III

Kukin Music
Street: 06.16
Imam Baildi =  Thanasis Papkonstantinou + Ozomatli + Napalma

In a country making headlines with crippling debt and riots against mandated austerity, Greece isn’t exactly the country I’m expecting to be putting out some of the most upbeat, wordly mash-ups I’ve heard this year. Imam Baildi, an Athenian group, keeps traditional Greek music close to their heart. Many of the compositions on this album feature the bouzouki—the traditional, stringed Greek instrument played with pride by Greek national heroes—played at virtuoso level of precision and technicality. Traditional music on III, however, is given a refreshingly 21st Centry twist as hip-hop percussion, passionate vocals, electronic guitars and ’70s jazz-funk horns punctuate each track. The result is a brilliant easing into Greek traditional music from eight of the country’s smiling-est ambassadors. –Ryan Hall