TITLE: CAPTAIN FREE
LABEL: NEAR THE EXIT MUSIC
CAT NO: NTEMV002
* FOS RETURNS WITH HER 3RD ALBUM. PREVIOUS SUPPORT FROM ROUGH
TRADE, BOILER ROOM, BBC 6 MUSIC, CYCLIC DEFROST AND MANY MORE *
London based Greek born artist Katerina Koutouzi, aka
Fos, is releasing her third album “Captain Free”
on the artist’s own label, Near The Exit Music. The captivating
melody of the main song from which the album takes its title, dominates this
record. Captain Free takes you on a journey from Dalston neon market stalls
reflected in kerbside puddles to the silvery darting fish swimming in the clear
Greek island waters. Squidgy beats and airy synth complemented by a gentle voice
full of promise, blow over the listener like a familiar summer breeze.
Katerina has recorded, produced and mastered this record herself and you can feel that this is a song that has been lovingly nurtured into being. When she was a girl, Katerina grew up on a small Greek island and her island memories paint a sort of glorious technicolor-nostalgia over this beautifully formed, catchy electro pop song conceived in the bustling city. “Koutouzi came from an island in the Aegean via Athens to a musically- congested London in which she has cleared an absolutely unique space for herself “ (Sonomu)
The rest of the album takes the listener on a sailing trip through varied musical waters. The whole album evolves around the theme of sailing on one’s sailboat in the vast blue as a symbolic metaphor on the meaning of life and being alive.
Following in the footsteps of her second album “Rock”, “Captain Free” is a well crafted assortment of all the different elements that Koutouzi likes to play with.
“…crafting tracks that bob, duck and dive out of the way of genre expectations, moving in such unexpected directions that defy logic but placate the ear…Fos has developed an enormously overwhelming ability to spin together an assortment and array of oddities in terms of sound and style, weaving them together on a giant loom into a tapestry of melody, art, rhythm and hazy dreams… The music of Fos has a folktastic base that spirals wildy off towards avant garde directions whilst maintaining a sense of calm pop in the way each song is constructed and the avenues they explore ” (New Narcotics).
“Modern meets traditional on this slice of Greek folktronica” (Sic Magazine).
Fos brings together traditional acoustic instruments like the daouli Greek drum, ancient instruments like the conch-shell, other acoustic instruments including the piano and the accordion, an electronica style of programming beats using pebbles, shells and bells. Katerina often sings in different languages, using the sound of a language as another sound tool but also using voice as an instrument. This contemporary approach blends styles such as dance music, song structures using simple archetypal melodies, ambient soundscapes using her own field recordings of natural sounds like the sound of waves and minimal instrumental explorations. The pieces sometimes sound like a sound collage of different instruments and natural sounds, but with an overarching aim of creating a certain atmosphere and an emotional reaction.
In 2010 her second album “Rock” was described by Rough Trade as “a blissed out avant folk-pop revelation. A masterful piece of work..a thing of wonder”. Music critics from all over the world praised her music production style:
“If you want something done right, do it yourself..The production
value is so crisp that it sounds live, with every sound – daouli, conch,
footsteps on sand – leaping from the speakers. There is a lot going on, but
nothing is hidden; it is as if the noonday sun has burned through the clouds and
eliminated all of the shadows. Because so much of the mix is upfront, the album
sounds immediate, almost to the point of being confrontational. ” (The
“an unpolished little gem” (Music, Musings and Miscellany)
“There’s a lot going on here, and Koutouzi juggles each bristling element with finesse. She seems preoccupied with stimuli of all sorts, and even more interested in shaping and wrangling them than your typical experimental musician”. (Cyclic Defrost)
“That the songs range across such a broad range of styles makes Koutouzi’s Fos a challenging persona to pin down, but that’s at least preferable to the music being too one-dimensional and lacking in variety…Rock is a commendable set and its non-stop flow of ideas holds one’s attention.” (Textura)
“it’s a lovely little disc, a self-contained world within” (Cows are just food)
“it’s “brilliant”…the largely organic nature of her arsenal of
instruments” (Norman Records)
The music of Fos has been played on various radio stations including BBC Radio 6 by Tom Ravenscroft, Tom Robinson and Nemone.
“Fos” has played live on Resonance Fm, NTS Radio, performed live for the online dance music TV channel Boiler Room and at various festivals and venues across the UK including the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Katerina Koutouzi comes from Kalymnos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. She spent her childhood years on the island and her teenage years in Athens. She studied Dance Theatre and Music Technology in London where she now lives and works while she is writing, performing and producing her own work.
“Captain Free” is released on 12” LP Vinyl and Digital Download.