Dimosioypalliliko Retire - On the administration of panic (the magazine, issue 1) (LP, Rekem 10/Orl29/AAR 003)
LP reissue of a 2002 CDr from the legendary art/music group, Dimosioypalliliko Retire, operating out of Thessaloniki, Greece. While the group's lyrics and themes make them easier to connect with for Greek audiences, their radical approach makes them an essential reference for the local experimental scene and their attitude and work transcends borders. The opening track, "When I retire" spends almost ten minutes around the incantation of the sole phrase, "έλα μωρέ, τι έγινε;" ("come on, why bother..."), and while coupled with the song title this serves as a clever pun around the theme of resignation that pervades Greek society, it also builds up to a hypnotic musical mantra that is heavily informed by contemporary minimalist and avant garde traditions. The record reaches its climax halfway, with images of unknown persons ejaculating on the Parthenon Marbles - a holy cow for the country's public's sensibilities and a popular target for the ultra-patriotism and fear-mongering in the media. While this album can only serve as a limited entry to DR's corpus (which includes, beyond the 9 issues of 'the magazine', a number of other CDr, cassette and LP editions, as well as rich multimedia performances), we are proud to shine a light on it as an essential part in the experimental Greek music landscape, and a powerful artistic statement in itself.
The group Dimosioypalliliko Retire (translates to “Public Sector Worker Penthouse”) was formed in 1984 by Ntanis Tragopoulos, Alexandra Katsiani and Thanasis Chondros. It was initially active in live performances and subsequently with recordings, up until 2006 where it completed its course. In essence D.R. involved itself in a radical application of the era’s modes of expression and media, in manners that were particularly edifying, paradoxical and humorous. Their appearances were centred on performance art, with music appearing sometimes in the foreground and other times in a supporting role. The result itself was often closer to the features of a school play or a debased news broadcast, rather than a music concert. D.R.’s first appearance took place in an unfinished building site in Thessaloniki (October 1984), and other appearances followed in venues such as farmer’s markets, parks, university halls and political youth festivals.
On the administration of panic (the magazine issue 1)
This record is a reissue of the first issue of the verbal “magazine”, published on CD-r by Dimosioypalliliko Retire in 2002 (D.R.1, Another City, Thessaloniki). Lasting until 2006, 9 issues appeared in total. “In this attempt”, DR noted, “we were aided by the autonomy and immediacy that the technology of the recordable compact disc and a home studio can provide. We urge our listeners, if they like what they hear, to copy it and pass it on to their friends. Copies help music spread, they don’t kill it as record companies claim. We want to produce an evolving work. Either way, music is tied to time since it has duration, but us we also wanted to play with real time, to have the magazine actually unfold from issue to issue, following our whims at the time. This way we had the chance to have changes in character and style that would not have fit within the boundaries of a work that takes place within a single record”. The first issue then, contains the musical part of the performance titled, “On the administration of panic”, which took place on the 31st of May 2002 at Moni Lazariston in Thessaloniki, during the Strange Screen festival. You can watch an excerpt from the performance here.
- Όταν Θα Βγω Στη Σύνταξη / When I Retire
- Καταλήψεις / Occupations
- Πλήρης Στύση / Full Erection
- Τα Μάρμαρα Του Παρθενώνα / The Parthenon Marbles
- Γνωρίζοντας / Knowing
- Ο Στραγγαλιστής / The Strangler
- Φίφτυ Φίφτυ / Fifty Fifty
- Το Δίδαγμα Της Ημέρας / The Lesson of the Day