Larry Gus (real name Panagiotis Melidis) returns to DFA with Subservient, his fourth release for the label. More pop-oriented than his previous albums, Subservient is a lush combination of “crisis funk pop and trad Mediterranean grooves.” Lyrics sung in Greek and English address Larry’s overwhelming struggles with being a father, husband, artist, and human in 2019. In the artist’s own words, this album is about “trying to understand empathy and act with it on everyday life,” as well as “the imperative of empathy above everything else.” Pre-order your copy HERE.
Subservient is sample-free, a first for Larry, who plays every instrument himself: a drum kit, an SM57 microphone, a guitar, a bass, a TE OP-1 synthesizer, and a Roland JV-1010 synth module. This is fourth-world power pop, as if Alex Chilton was produced by Eno and Hassell. The thoughtful, upbeat arrangements and gentle vocals are spacious and warm, and tend to offset whatever darker tone the lyrics might imply. Larry confronts more acute tensions, such as being a father in Greece during the crisis, and the parallels of a child’s sicknesses and adult ailments, as well as larger, more existential pressures – the grasp of nostalgia, the weight and meaning of making decisions, and the desire to move from hermeticism towards sociability.
The record graciously explores the nuance that can be found within delineated lines: pop and folk music, rooted in Greek tradition; internal anxieties and empathy expressed outward; the tightrope struggle of living in the present and wallowing in the past.
Larry will also be releasing a 7-inch single alongside the album, which features two A-sides, “Kerkis (Judas-Tree)” and “Foreign Steps,” from the same recording sessions as Subservient. The lyrics to “Kerkis (Judas-Tree)” were written by Efthimis Filippou, an award-winning screenwriter known for his work with director Yorgos Lanthimos on films like Dogtooth, The Lobster, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The 7-inch precedes an upcoming audio play, written by Efthimis and scored by Larry, to be produced with the Onassis Stegi (AKA Cultural Center) sometime next year. The audio play will be released on DFA in 2020.
trad grooves from northern greece
oriental funk from northern greece
northern greek funk pop
crisis funk-pop and trad grooves from northern greece
crisis funk pop and trad mediterranean grooves from northern greece
trad grooves and crisis funk from northern greece
trad grooves and northern greek funk
hospitals, illnesses, cuboid bone fracture, children pneumonia, pre-epileptic shocks, excessive caloric intake, parenting, regrets, regrets, regrets, lower back pain, insecurities, money-induced anxieties, nostalgia-induced anxieties, decision making induced anxieties
an album about being a father in greece during the crisis
an album about trying to find an implicit imperative in all life decision
an album about hospitals , kid’s sicknesses, adult ailments etc
an album with no samples, after years and years of extensive sample usage
an album rooted in parts of greek tradition
an album that tries to find the link between rural northern greece and on the corner free-form structures. plus there is a riot goin’ on. plus marcos valle.
an album recorded exclusively with a drum kit, an SM57, a guitar, a bass, a TE-OP1, and a Roland JV1010
an album about trying to understand empathy and act with it on everyday life.
the imperative of empathy above everything else.
an album about trying to move from asceticism and hermetism towards extroversion and sociability
the idea of subservience and submission as a combination of a disease and celebration.
a likely projection
infinite versions of a relationship
text of intent
a song written in an island way
taped hands here
someone is never actually asked, but regardless, he would always try to do everything, as if the act of listening is the actual act itself.
in this position
the imperative of empathy above everything else.
ayler the pilot
“it’s not the family you have / it’s just the family you know”
a family sing along (almost). ayler (my son) wrote the middle part of the lyrics here.
is he getting sick because of me? lots of guilt here, as usual.
readers and authors
“and how we skip all observation, and then get rid of the quotations
and create new catalogs of feelings, that are real enough
with verbs and nouns and adjectives, and with all forms of narratives
with verbs and nouns and adjectives, multiplied with facts?”
classifying a disease
on the corner meets greek traditional dance ensembles. how we came to a conclusion that a disease is a disease ie something negative? if it was a gift who would take it? if it was a boulder, whose house would it open in half?
bare concrete (itea 97-09)
having a crush with architecture itself, trying to analyse it, trying to stop thinking about it, all starting from the small city called Itea.
yeah, we could talk about efthimis here and the fact that he wrote the lyrics, and that we have this other upcoming DFA project, and link it with his screenwriting work etc. The song itself is a love song, talking about the tree that under its shade a dog licks itself. hmmm.
“those feet that they handed you / lots of people have walked with those feet
and whatever happened to those people / don’t assume that you also inherited it”
“and don’t forget that all the stranger’s feet / those are not real things
they are just ideas with wings / submission to problems
and foreign invisible steps”
“and when a guy comes and puts a screwdriver and a hammer in your ribcage
don’t forget to hand him your feet”