GB 114CD GB 114CD

Much acclaimed Cyprus-based trio return with a thrilling fourth album. The record pushes their trademark Mediterranean sonics into a deep psychedelic and avant-folk direction. A danceable fever storm of stringed instruments, multi-layered singing and trombone-driven low end. For Cyprus's Monsieur Doumani, those night hours of blackness have lured them in a very different direction for their fourth album, Pissourin. Since their beginning in 2011, the trio have been globally-lauded for their innovative, highly-charged acoustic reinventions of the Cypriot tradition. After eight years, founding member Angelos Ionas had decided to leave the band. To replace him, Andys Skordis, who was already a touring guitarist with the group, joined full-time and began to contribute his own ideas. They were ready to embark on a very different journey. The pissourin (Cypriot dialect for total darkness) "brought us the different elements -- the moon, stars, planets, rivers -- and the creatures that appear in the songs are actors in this quest." It was an idea that stretched Monsieur Doumani past the Cypriot tradition they'd been exploring. It gave them the freedom to draw inspiration from far beyond Cyprus while staying connected to their roots: adding the punch and raw power of rock, the wild colors of Turkish psychedelia, even the hypnotic draw of West African music, which weaves its cord around the melody on "Alavrostishiótis". Monsieur Doumani also went electric. Technology offered the band a vastly broader palette of sound. Pedals also allowed them to think of their instruments in ways that simply hadn't been possible before. They began using the guitar as more than a rhythm or harmonic instrument, letting it provide basslines and work with the trombone. The looper allowed them to make it into a drum. Suddenly Monsieur Doumani had a huge sound. It's startling, a real electric shock. This music they make on Pissourin is overwhelming, a tsunami that surges relentlessly from the very first note of the opening track, "Tiritíchtas". The band's new sound was complex, built from interlocking layers and instrumental filigree. To have the attack the music needed, everything had to be careful and precise. Pissourin isn't just the darkness, but the creatures who inhabit it: Those who find their freedom in the night and the madness it can hold. Beings like the hobgoblins, the "Kalikándjari", and their hypnotic dance that grows in intensity as it progresses.