Fontas Troussas | Jazz & Tzaz | issue 178 | January 2008
translated from greek
Socos (without the Live Project Band, with which we enjoyed him a little time ago in "Kafka" - Jazz & Tzaz, issue 171) offers to Triple Bath a primarily acoustic work for guitar through which he develops improvising practices with the possible minimum of studio manipulation. Pieces like the 14-minute "Vis-à-vis" reveal the reading and of course the talent of Socos, in penetrating through various guitar tone-colours (reflections of the work of John Fahey or of Nikos Mamagkakis are not absent), creating an album which is wronged by microquantity. Althought this is correctable...
Massimo Ricci | Touching Extremes | January 2008
This man looks quite a character. The press release's photo reveals him as a curious Pat Metheny/Frank Zappa facial hybrid. He's Greek, yet the titles of the pieces and the writings on the CD sleeve are in French. He plays classical guitar alternating traditional and extended techniques. His curriculum speaks about several collaborations - among them the "cult rock" band Aera Patera - that I'm obviously completely unfamiliar with (hey, I can't guarantee miracles yet). The 42 minutes of "Hyperythmique Analogue" are subdivided into five tracks, each one with a different aura, all of them played with sober seriousness and restraint, except in a couple of instances where percussive elements and more relevant dynamic peaks are introduced. Socos utilizes the whole body of the instrument efficiently, tapping the strings to elicit micro-harmonics and skeletal zinging structures while thumping on the wood to have the air within expanding harmoniously in shades of chords and spectra of barely audible notes. He also applies metallic objects to the strings, causing a Frithian bounce during the changes. Scraping sounds and a slight measure of processing complete the experimental face of the album, which is finely complemented by two longer segments where Socos performs limpidly and without any preparation, highlighting the simple pleasures contained in compositions that mix medieval progressions and ingenuous minimalism reminiscent of Hans Joachim Roedelius' shy piano pastels ("Louise Michel"). Enchanting material indeed. Not bad at all for a solo debut, especially considering how easy doing damage to people's ears with a guitar is. Ultra limited edition of 96 copies, therefore act quickly.
Ron Schepper | Textura | December 2007
"Hyperythmique Analogue", Socos' debut solo album, remains captivating throughout its forty-two-minute duration, despite the fact that the Athens/Greece artist Nikos Sokos performs it using nothing but guitar. Whether finger-picking furiously (heard especially memorably in "Hyperythmique Analogue pt. 2") or hitting the instrument's body to generate percussive accents, Socos unquestionably shows himself to be a guitar virtuoso. But the album isn't about grandstanding: it's the compositional caliber of the album's five pieces that impresses most, and Socos deploys his formidable playing abilities in service to that compositional dimension. If they are improvisations (as accompanying notes suggest), he must have mapped out fairly clearly their respective trajectories beforehand. Socos demonstrates an effortless mastery of mood, dynamics, and tempo throughout; with the utmost ease, he slows a piece down and subdues it to a near whisper, then abruptly revives it with an aggressive, accelerating attack. In the long central piece, the fourteen-minute "Vis-à-vis", he follows delicate classical strums with violently plucked chords before an amazing penultimate section finds intricate strums catapulting the piece forward until the contemplative earlier passage reappears to again establish calm. Abetted by subtle digital manipulations that help slice and stretch the guitar's notes, Socos alternates between microsound levels and violent flourishes in "Cataleptique", while his graceful rendering of "Louise Michel" closes the album in a spirit of Renaissance-styled elegance. His artful modulation of volume and intensity is heard to great effect during "Hyperythmique Analogue pt. 1" when its spidery, shimmering strums advance and recede, occasionally punctuated by loud knocks. Triple Bath describes "Hyperythmique Analogue" as experimental-improvisational, solo classical guitar but the album's appeal easily extends beyond a circle of prototypical guitar fanatics.
Martijn Busink | Musique Machine | October 2007
Greek guitarist Socos has been working in various bands since 1989 including Fykia and Orama as well as a collaboration with art-pop artist Christos Alexopoulos. On "Hyperythmique Analogue" he operates alone on his acoustic guitar. No cosy campfire stuff though, but more traditional playing is alternated with more avant-garde techniques. In the opening track "Hyperhythmique Analogue pt. 2" you hear sounds that resemble small insects running over the fretboard creating an interesting texture. "Cataleptique", which follows, consists of backward guitar sounds which still manage to sound consistent. The longest piece (14 minutes) is "Vis-à-vis". It's consisting of four movements, the fifth being a return to its opening theme, a somewhat Spanish tasting melodic piece that reminds me of Terry Riley's guitar works found on "The Book of Abbeyozzud". The other parts feature slow but aggressive pulling of strings but also very quiet and mysterious passages. A metal object seems to be bouncing on the strings in "Hyperhythmique Analogue pt. 1", again an interesting technique put convincingly into effect, more dark and moody this time. The closing piece "Louise Michel" is a conventionally played piece again, and a bit romantic and dreamy. This CDR release contains interesting and very listenable modern music for the traditional acoustic guitar, not unlike Espen Jørgensen's "On the Great Alkali Plains" but with a more mediterranean feel, which of course seems entirely logical, geographically speaking. Only 96 copies are made so I wouldn't wait too long if your interest is piqued. Score: 5/5
Thodoris Kolsouzoglou | Tranzistor | October 2007
translated from greek
Socos was born in Athens in 1974 and just in his 15 he decides to dive in the deep waters of music. Since then his collaborations with other musicians are innumerable although with his main axis being the alternative experimental music always. The present disc therefore comes to cover a void. It makes the first official personal work of Socos and therefore it is an ideal occasion for something different. Those of us who considered him tightly connected with the sound he creates with the Live Project Band, let's better forget about that. Moving with absolute freedom this time, he decides to flirt with electro-acoustic sounds most of the time with the basic source being the acoustic guitar and the varying playing techniques. Through the five improvised compositions of "Hyperythmique Analogue" the atmosphere created is very warm and manages to disorientate you from your to-date sonic experiences, while when he wants to push the limits, he surprises you with medieval rhythmical outbreaks taken from a forgotten electric gothic fairy tale! For your information, "Hyperythmique Analogue" is released in 96 numbered copies by Triple Bath of Themistoklis Pantelopoulos who also took great care of the graphic artwork.
Otenet | October 2007
translated from greek
"Hyperythmique Analogue" is the solo venture of Socos, guitarist of The Live Project Band, who follows an abstractive and experimental philosophy in order to give us cinematographic and transfixing compositions. The album is released in a strictly limited number of copies, therefore if you happen to find it somewhere, you'd better not hesitate to put the hand in the pocket and give it the chance it deserves.
Haris Symvoulidis | Avopolis | October 2007
translated from greek - original here
Following the wonderful "Kafka" by Socos and The Live Project Band, the act's guitarist and mastermind Socos returns with a solo, solitary effort that is considerably different. Released on Triple Bath as a limited edition of just 96 numbered copies, "Hyperythmique Analogue" immediately qualifies as a highly collectible item. The album begins in a somewhat unorthodox fashion with "Hyperythmique Analogue pt. 2" and is followed by part 1 towards the album's end. As a sonic experience, part 2 is an extremely fragile composition which reminded me of improvisation by a Chinese virtuoso on the delicate zither, which requires just as much modest and tacit dedication from the listener as it does from the musician, while also keeping the recipient at a distance. This establishes an instructor-student type relationship with potential to gradually bridge the gap. The mood is more or less maintained throughout this album's 43-minute duration, be it the suspenseful and cinematic "Cataleptique" or the more conventional melodic paths that unfold on "Vis-à-vis" (which brings to mind the guitar-playing of John Williams). Ultimately, however, the aforementioned gradual bridging of the gap never occurs. In my opinion, the overall mood of "Hyperythmique Analogue" ends up constituting both this project's finest quality and reason for limiting the development of a close relationship with the listener. On the one hand, fine quality exists because of the careful interest paid by the listener to the project's development - or the feeling of dealing with a unique musical entity that carries both subversive power and devout charm. Without a doubt, Socos' way of managing to preserve these qualities (which help the listener focus) without forsaking the album's experimental/improvisational character is a noteworthy achievement. On the other hand, however, there is no conclusion. The feeling of expectation for a climax that would unify all the aforementioned aspects is left unfulfilled as the compositions on "Hyperythmique Analogue" seem to be content with merely providing intrigue, opting to continue along their perpetual abstract ways, like a crowd of crazy electrons that stubbornly refuse to form molecules. In the end, this fixes them into an aesthetic plain that is undoubtedly worthy and interesting, but which, I think, falls well short of greatness.
Frans de Waard | Vital Weekly | issue 595 | October 2007
"Hyperythmique Analogue" is Socos' solo guitar release on which he also improvises, but in a more regular way. Medieval like tunes most of the time, but played a bit more furiously, also at times. Highly ambient music, not too dissimilar to say very early Durutti Column, but without the Hannett touch of production. It's quite nice as background music, nothing offensive or oddly shaped, but also nothing particular interesting. Just something you can put on and forget about when it's over. But throughout more coherent in approach than the Tabata (also reviewed in that issue) release.