While coming from different parts of the world and from vastly divergent musical backgrounds, the connection between George Xylouris and Jim White, who perform together as Xylouris White, is palpable from the first note of their debut LP, Goats, produced by Guy Picciotto of Fugazi. George Xylouris is a legendary Cretan folk musician, White is an icon of underground music, and together they have forged something surprising and impossible to categorize. Other Music Recording Co. releases the album October 14 (October 13 in the UK/EU).
George Xylouris was born into a Greek musical family of incomparable stature; his uncle, Nikos Xylouris, is arguably one of the most iconic Greek performers of all time. Nicknamed the "archangel of Crete," his songs are part of the fabric of modern Greek music. Nikos' younger brother, Antonis Xylouris (George's father), is better known as Psarandonis, a world-renowned singer and lyra player who has long pushed against the boundaries of traditional folk, playing his instrument with a passion and intensity that has made him a hero in Crete, a legend throughout Greece and famous around the world amongst fans of international folk. George grew up playing the lute, and spent much of his youth accompanying Psarandonis on many of his most important recordings and performances, pushing the lute into new realms in much the same way his father does with the lyra. George is a dynamic player who has gone on to lead many ensembles of his own, performing on more than 70 albums, and while his approach to his music is multi-faceted, his treatment of the lute as a lead instrument has frequently set him apart from the tradition he also embraces.
Jim White emerged from the Australian post-punk scene to become one of the most beloved and instantly recognizable drummers of today. Best known for his long-running role in Dirty Three, that trio's unique instrumental line-up of violin, guitar and drums is perhaps the perfect format to showcase White's distinct style; and like Xylouris, White frequently pushes his instrument into an unconventional lead role. A powerful and original player who has flourished in many settings, White has collaborated, toured and recorded with a wide array of brilliant artists over the years, including Cat Power, Bill Callahan , Will Oldham, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, and many more.
Xylouris and White first met through mutual friends on the Melbourne music scene when George was living in Australia in the early '90s; Dirty Three and Xylouris Ensemble shared bills, and George sat in with Dirty Three on occasion. Much later Jim and George accompanied Psarandonis on a couple of tours preceding the formation of Xylouris White. Through a series of live performances and recording sessions in Greece, Australia, and New York City, the duo forged a new sound. Picciotto's production was the final piece of the puzzle, bringing Goats into focus. The record begins an ongoing collaborationalready one of the most expressive and personal of either musician's long career. The duo is working on a follow-up album, and will be touring the world throughout the fall and winter, including several European dates with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
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