Vangelis Katsoulis - The Sleeping Beauties

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  • Into The Light Records first showcased the music of Vangelis Katsoulis on a 2012 compilation Into The Light: A Journey Into Greek Electronic Music, Classics & Rarities 1978-1991. Katsoulis's contribution to that record ("Improvisation") was less than two minutes long, offering only a glimpse of his compositional talents. On The Sleeping Beauties, Ilias Pitsios and Tako Reyenga, the two crate-diggers behind Into The Light, have curated a more comprehensive overview of the Greek producer, who they consider one of electronic music's overlooked visionaries. Katsoulis has a honed ear for melody and an experimental streak. As a result, his music is both strangely beautiful and beautifully strange. The piano keys and synths on the opening piece, "The Slipping Beauty," channel the simple elegance of nature, like water trickling down a stream. It's essentially a minimalist composition in the vein of Steve Reich, though a more contemporary reference point could be Donato Dozzy's suite of Bee Mask remixes from 2013. Most of the tracks on The Sleeping Beauties are quite clearly products of the '80s. Take the steel-pan drums and clipped reverb of "Earth Beat," or the bassline on "Touch The Sun," whose title and low-end feel like artifacts from that decade's self-empowerment boom. But what makes this such an intriguing compilation is how clearly you can hear echoes of Katsoulis's style in contemporary productions. "Enigma" and "Imago" daub from the same gleaming palette as Maxmillion Dunbar and Young Marco—the latter in particular is reminiscent of Dunbar's 2013 album House Of Woo—while the breathy flutes and swampy percussion on "The Eternal Return" could be lifted from a Sex Tags UFO cut. Pitsios and Reyenga describe Katsoulis as a visionary, and it's hard to disagree.
  • Tracklist
      01. The Slipping Beauty 02. Earth Beat 03. The Eternal Return 04. Enigma 05. Touch The Sun 06. Longing 07. Improvisation 08. Living Colors 09. Light As Air 10. Imago 11. Epilogue