In Outward Bound's debut, self-titled album we find the duo of pianist, Antonis Tsikandilakis and guitarist, Dimitris Neonakis working on their own compositions in improvised -as usually- manner. The material was captured during a recording session that took place on August 29-30, 2007, at the St. Marcus Basilica, in Heraklion, Crete. It is comprised of eleven pieces which demonstrate the simultaneous, diverse approach of the compositions by both musicians. The music, high in execution yet quiet and always mysterious, gets bounded by poetic pianisms and pensive guitarisms in rippling moods... Quite a rare duo instrumentation of grand piano and electric guitar, that sound easily tied after the foregrounded virtuosity of their performers, whose sentimental expression is varied due to psychological parameters, through alternation of urban and natural music landscapes.
01. Un Moment Serieux 02:41
02. Perspective au Fond I 02:03
03. Perspective au Fond II 05:51
04. Perspective au Fond III 01:11
05. Perspective au Fond IV 04:05
06. Nature Faible 03:41
07. Perspective au Fond V 03:01
08. Fallacy 03:01
09. Perspective au Fond VI 03:39
10. Rooftops 02:59
11. Irresolution 07:12
instrumentation Antonis Tsikandilakisgrand piano Dimitris Neonakiselectric guitar
August 29-30, 2007, at the St. Marcus Basilica, in Heraklion, Crete
with the invaluable help of Dimitris Chatzakis and Thomas Ksipakis
Themistoklis Pantelopoulos & Outward Bound, November 2008 - March 2009
Themistoklis Pantelopoulos & Outward Bound, March 2009
Themistoklis Pantelopoulos, March 2009
based on the painting "Love Over All" by Eri Skyrgianni (web.me.com/eri_skyrgianni), February 2007
catalogue number TRB.017
release date March 27, 2009
Kent Manthie | Heathen Harvest | issue 70 | October 2009
So, there are these three cats from the Greek isle of Crete, Antonis Tsikandilakis, on the grand piano and his cohort, Dimitris Neonakis, on the guitar, and Yiannis Iliakis on drums. It's just the three of them, but my, they sure know how to move one. Their latest CD, an eponymous one, is a pure delight to anyone who digs any kind of off-the-beaten-path music and also will fit right in with all you jazzbos that look down your noses at all the Coltrane & Miles wannabes that abound in America, which is, besides what used to be called Muzak now being shucked as "Smooth Jazz" (Kenny G, David Benoit, Boney James, etc). No wonder the best in new avant-garde jazz is coming out of Eastern Europe these days. For one thing, Western Europe - except for maybe France - is too Americanized - they listen to the same crap that the masses here get shoved down their collective throats by heavy rotation on commercial radio. Anyway, getting to the business at hand - Outward Bound is a very quiet album. In fact, not only will jazz aficionados love this quiet improv session, but it may also delight some who are hard-core classical music lovers. The three aforementioned guys who make up Outward Bound are actually really young! Antonis is only 30 and Dimitris is only 28. That's not that young, in terms of age progression, but young for the kind of skills they show in this music that is not at all of their generation. On one hand, you have Antonis, a very skillful pianist, who's studied with some heavies, including one brilliant musician, Efi Agrafioti, who taught Antonis musical theory and guided his already extant brilliance into the quiet but strong musician he is today. On the other hand, Dimitris Neonakis has been playing the guitar since he was 14 and all that practice has done him a world of good. Besides just playing a lot and honing his craft all those years, Neonakis has just taught himself to play the Cretan Lute, another stringed, guitar-like instrument. As for influences, well, Neonakis lists Akis Tourkogiorigs, Makis Ampilantis, Giannis Spathas as well as guitar gods to Westerners: Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler and the great, awesome John McLaughlin, formerly Mahavishnu John McLaughlin (that's when he was knee-deep into Sri Chimnoy's spiritual philosophy thing that was also being scooped up by the likes of Carlos (Devadip - converts added an extra name to their own names to show their willingness to change and leave earthly pursuits behind, that is, except for the worldly pursuit of making beautiful music!) Santana and Jon Anderson (he didn't add a name, so maybe he didn't like it or something, but if you listen to Tales From Topographic Oceans, you'll hear Sri Chimnoy's views espoused all through that awesome album). Also, having been recorded in the dark, foreboding St. Markus Basilica, it gives the album a more haunting, hushed and an almost reverent quietude, one that is not so hushed you can't hear it, on the contrary, the velvety piano and the Pat Metheny-like guitar are such great complements to each other and they also build upon one another as well, constantly amping up the intensity and then, just as quickly, taking it away again, but with the nice, up-to-date digital recording system used they were able to pick up all the sounds - even if someone dropped a pick or lit a cigarette, the mics probably picked it up. If you're pure punk rock or a vampire death metal-head then you'd probably want to stay away from this garlic chain of a record. But if you have style and a broadly defined one at that, then Outward Bound will really blow your mind and in a way you didn't think possible.
Fontas Troussas | Jazz & Tzaz | issue 196 | July 2009 translated from greek - original here
The improvised duo piano-electric guitar is a daily matter. However, within a month came to us two such albums. "Labyrinth" by Matthew Shipp & Mark O'Leary on FMR and "Outward Bound" by Outward Bound from Crete on the... like a valuable drop Triple Bath of Themis Pantelopoulou (yes, this is once more an excellent CDR of 128 copies). Andonis Tsikandilakis (piano) and Dimitris Neonakis (electric guitar) invade the Basilica Saint Marcus in Heraklion (August '07) to revisit the music of... angels. What angels? Obviously, the deduct ones'... Eleven pieces, small, medium and longer (total listening time 39:23), which are based on good communication and cooperation between the two musicians and of course -I think- space. Navel-gazing acts sometimes whereas clear outward standards other times, covering a wide range of timbre, from romantic pianist preludes and low-toned guitarisms, to free-form patterns and dynamic rock passages. The electric guitar being the "incompatible" instrument in this field, through playing with sustain, covers, shall we say, the "continuation" of the sonic requirements, while the piano shapes environments. Regardless of any opinions and whatever one might say, it is important to note this: young musicians of the area not only hustle in... hip and pop. They sometimes have the guts to face - with pride always, their independence - the "free", the "imaginary", the "abstract". Privileged places of the forty-plus now "lock" lower.
Martijn Busink | Musique Machine | June 2009
Likely to be named after Eric Dolphy's album of the name "Outward Bound", this Greek duo Outward Bound takes a different, more ambient approach. A bit different from what we're used to from Triple Bath as well, more traditional and less experimental. Dimitris Neonakis' airy guitar sound is not unlike Terje Rypdal's wistful wails. Together with Antonis Tsikandilakis on piano, he paints a fairly nordic picture, even though it was recorded in Greece. The ambience coming from the use of reverb is something many listeners may have come to associate with ECM releases and to a lesser extent Rune Grammofon. Eleven pieces in the playing time of almost forty minutes set a beautiful, romantic mood, rich in atmosphere. Sometimes the melodies drift into more mysterious and less defined sounds, but the lyrical spell never gets broken. Only "Perspective Au Fond V" makes the water in the calm pond ripple a bit. Otherwise it's very easy to find yourself floating away in this collection of melancholic miniatures (most pieces are around three minutes). It's likely that if you like Rypdal and the likes, Outward Bound will find you well. Like all Triple Bath releases there's a limited amount available (128 copies) but also -as usually- the price is very friendly (5 EUR). And it's totally worth it. Score : 5/5
Panos Panotas | Mic | June 2009 translated from greek - original here
It came out in March in just 128 copies, a minimum batch when we are already talking about one of the special works from a greek band in 2009. Outward Bound were formed in 2001 when pianist Antonis Tsikandilakis started to work guitarist Dimitris Neonakis. They took form as a trio in 2007 with Giannis Iliakis joining on drums. All of them have musical education and collaborations. This debut was recorded in Heraklion, Crete, where they reside. It is a special album of music for piano and electric guitar, not exactly jazz, neither purely improvised. But you may call it "free" of forms and "open" to real time. This is because those involved are in fact approaching the themes in soloist manners, either by exchanging roles, either by acting simultaneously but from different directions. The 39-minute recording has elements of feat; it is kaleidoscopic and dramatic in its atmosphere, not comparable to anything else in Greece. The question of how the two improvisers coincide so much in their subtle sensibilities and emotions, may appear reasonable, but the answer being more rational: "With Dimitris we have been playing together for several years and we continue to work with punctuality on the goals that we put at times. I would say, we are not playing even half a note if it is not to be discussed first... This of course does not mean depriving the creative spontaneity from improvisation and the surprise - which would get us immediately bored. ?n the contrary, I think debating on the issue of aesthetic approach in music, is a way of expanding the fields in which you can move. So we have replaced rehearsals with making company... I hope it works...". If it works, you say?