A unique blend of breezy electronica, Krautrock and folk from Greek born, UK based musician Katerina Koutouzi. Quite beguiling!





Katerina's music spoke to me immediately. I love the way her Greek heritage and affinity for the sea strongly influences her creative output. She is making some of the most original music I've heard in a long time.


THE ARTS DESK 11/8/17 on Captain Free


by Thomas H. Green

London-based Greek artist Katerina Koutouzi was born and raised on the Aegean island of Kalymnos but, while there are moments suitable for beachside lazing, it would be misleading to categorize Captain Free as chill-out. It really isn’t. Instead, it’s a delicious, original take on synth-pop, occasionally enhanced with accordion, crashing waves, daouli drum, blown conch shell and Greek language singing. Koutouzi knows how to write a song with a sense of longing melded into chords and melodies, and the opening track of her third album showcases this skill, but she’s just as happy going off-piste on the lo-fi sample-delic trance-dub of “Adamos” or the lolloping downtempo “Sailing Out of the Storm”. Like her countryman, Vangelis, she's adept at letting a simple musical motif wander in and out of an album without ever growing dull. There are moments when she could have done with better studio equipment to give her music the scope it deserves, but that’s a quibble. Captain Free is a Mediterranean-marinated prog-pop odyssey well worth taking.


ELECTRONIC SOUND MAGAZINE (print magazine, Issue 31) on Captain Free

Nautical alert. The third album from Fos, aka Greek Londoner Katerina Koutouzi, "Captain Free" is an homage to the joys of sailing. Preferably somewhere exotic, but a puddle in the road will do. The music veers from oddball pop to folctronica to neo-classical and Katerina's voice is just the right mix of sugar and salt. "Look at the sun, it's so bright," she sings on the title track, a real gem which appears here in three radically different versions. It is bright too. Get your shades on. P.




An instantly alluring collection of off-piste synthy odes, dreamy breaks and fractured vocal snippets, all imbued with a whimsical and airy danceable electronic vibe. A beautifully produced collection, and one for any electronic fan.


INDIE PULSE MUSIC MAGAZINE    13/7/17 on Captain Free


by Joseph Timmons

Captain Free is subtle yet rich in its dynamics, it flows through you like the life’s blood yet at moments wakes you to a chill of reality. It is a story of a loving soul lost in a loveless world, clinging to the hope that the sailboat will find a welcoming shore, a safe harbor, a port in a black sea storm.


ELECTRONIC NORTH 29/5/17 on Captain Free


by Mark Buckley

Captain Free has a unique charm about it, powering along like a lost motorik gem with the track becoming increasingly layered and complex as it progresses. However, Koutouzi’s lyrics and vocals lend the song a vulnerable humanity to the song, working as effective feminising counterpoint to the muscular electronic instrumentation.


BEEHIVE CANDY 24/6/17 on Captain Free


Not so much one of nine songs but four of nine as 'Captain Free' takes us on a musical journey through four parts, alongside five other fabulous tracks. The whole album is an imaginative breath of fresh air, with an eclectic mixture of musical sounds, intricate beats and more. If you like the featured song, the album is a must.


FOLKWORLD #63 07/17 on Captain Free


If you would like to classify this release as folktronica, you may want to emphasize the ‘tronica’. This is mostly electric in the backing and it is quite pleasant, clearly more pop oriented than folk based. The folk part enters the picture with the well-crafted female vocals. Katerina Koutouzi (who is FOS) brings her Greek island heritage to this music and elevates it to where even more hardened folk fans may want to experiment. There are also songs with traditional instrumentation adding a delightful color to the beats and electronic hooks. I enjoy melody in any genre’s musical language and FOS has that working extremely well in these nine songs.


INDIE VOICE BLOG  9/8/17 on Captain Free


by Bob Leggett

London based Greek artist Katerina Koutouzi is the force behind fos.  She takes traditional Greek folk music and gives it an electronica feel.  The title track is presented in four different styles, each of which show just a portion of the immense talent of this artist.  Although this is not the type of album that is radio friendly (except for maybe NPR), it is perfect for those with eclectic tastes who crave something different.   Her music does have that eerie ethereal feel of Enya, which makes the album perfect as background music.  Best tracks include “Aeras Fissa,” “Better no Map,” “Adamos,” and “Wild on Blue.”


Δισκορυχείον/VINYLMINE 16/7/17 on Captain Free


by Phontas Troussas

Τρίτο άλμπουμ για τους Fos, που δεν είναι άλλοι από την Κατερίνα Κουτούζη. Είχαν προηγηθεί τα “Psila” (2008) και “Rock” (2009) και να τώρα, οκτώ χρόνια μετά, ένα LP υπό τον τίτλοCaptain Free [near the exit music, 2017], που έρχεται να ταράξει τα νερά, γιατί όχι, στην τωρινή folktronica.
Η Κουτούζη δεν ζει στην Ελλάδα. Είναι από χρόνια εγκατεστημένη στο Λονδίνο, και από ’κει μας έρχονται οι δίσκοι της. Πρώτη φορά είχα γράψει για τους Fos, το 2011, λέγοντας πως η Κουτούζη… «στήνει “περιβάλλοντα”, αφηγούμενη μια προσωπική της ιστορία – αναμνήσεις, αγάπες, όνειρα, άλλοι χρόνοι, φάσματα συναισθημάτων, όλα τοποθετούνται στις θέσεις τους, δημιουργώντας έναν τύπο φολκτρόνικας, όχι μακρυά, ορισμένες φορές, από εκείνον του Bibio ή των Tunng». Τα ίδια πάνω-κάτω, και όσον αφορά στην ουσία της υπόθεσης, θα πω και τώρα, καθότι η Κουτούζη δίνει ένα πράγματι πολύ καλό άλμπουμ (βινυλίου), γεμάτο και από τα δύο. Και από τους προγραμματισμούς της και από τις σκόρπιες ανταύγειες, ενδιαμέσως, των παραδοσιακών ηχοχρωμάτων.


Το άλμπουμ ανοίγει με το “Captain Free”, ένα electro τραγούδι, που κυλάει μέσα σε μιαν eighties ρυθμική μακαριότητα, με τα synths και το drum machine να μεταφέρουν τα πρέποντα vibes. Στο “Aeras fissa” η Κουτούζη τραγουδάει ελληνικά – και όχι εν είδει exotica. Το τραγούδι έχει, πάνω απ’ όλα, ελληνικό νόημα, με τα πλήκτρα να χαράζουν και εδώ την κύρια μελωδική γραμμή. Το “Better no map” είναι το πρώτο σχεδόν ορχηστρικό του άλμπουμ (υπάρχουν φωνητικά, που παίζουν ρόλο οργάνου), κι εκείνο στο οποίο εναποθέτονται τα πρώτα, ας τα πούμε, αντιδημοφιλή στοιχεία. Η φάση γίνεται πιο εσωστρεφής, οι αλλαγές δεν είναι πολλές και μια σχετική μονοτονία δημιουργεί τις προϋποθέσεις για να παίξουν παιγνίδι τα κρουστά, η μελόντικα, τα κοχύλια, το glockenspiel. Ωραίο κομμάτι – διαφορετικό από τα προηγούμενα δύο. Τέταρτο κομμάτι της πλευράς ο “Adamos”. Ακορντεόν, βιολί και ηλεκτρονικά για εισαγωγή, και μια «μπομπάτη» συνέχεια με τη μελόντικα να παραπέμπει ακόμη και σε Augustus Pablo – reggae δηλαδή(!) σε συνδυασμό με πολύ ανεβασμένα beats, στα όρια του techno. Τελευταίο κομμάτι για την A side το “Captain Free II”, που ναι μεν εμφανίζει ένα νησιώτικο άρωμα, βασικά λόγω του βιολιού τής Johana Hartwig (πρόκειται για τη μοναδική guest μουσικό του άλμπουμ), αλλά στην πορεία «φεύγει».
Η B side έχει τρία tracks. Ξεκινά με το “Captain Free III”, που είναι σχεδόν 4λεπτο. Βαθιά bass-line, βοκαλισμοί από την Κουτούζη, πλήκτρα να πλέουν… γενικώς ένα άνετο electro, που μοιάζει, ίσως, για εισαγωγή σε κάτι άλλο. Ακολουθεί λοιπόν το 6λεπτο “Sailing out of the storm”, ένα κάπως υποχθόνιο track, που κυλάει σε σχετικά γρήγορο τέμπο και που πλαισιώνεται από δέσμες ηλεκτρονικών. Υπάρχει μια βασική μελωδία, αλλά υπάρχουν και οι συμβολές που την υπονομεύουν, με την όλη «κατασκευή» να κρατάει κάποια γερά pagan ρίγη. Πολύ καλό κομμάτι! 
Το άλμπουμ θα ολοκληρωθεί με το 11λεπτο “Wild on blue”. Ήχοι από κύματα, πιάνο, πειραγμένη φωνή – με το τέμπο να γίνεται πιο γοργό στην πορεία, η μελωδία ν’ απλώνεται και το κομμάτι ν’ αποκτά ένα σαν-κοσμικό επίχρισμα, καταλήγοντας μ’ ένα lo-fi κλείσιμο.




ROUGH TRADE 10/7/10 on rock


by Michael Kasparis

"london based greek artist katerina koutouzi's fos project is a blissed out avant folk-pop revelation. a masterful piece of work that weaves conch, accordion, harmonium, glock, piano and electronic elements into a flowing meditation of oceanic push and pull. one could draw comparisons with kate bush but not in a shallow, cursory way: koutouzi's magpie approach to sound sees sea shanties, greek folk songs, piano stillness and even chill wave beats splashed with samples and pop hooks the way kate did on the second side of 'hounds of love.' the music is inspired by the rhythm of the sea; the mythical dimensions of natural sounds, like the striking of pebbles or the sound of waves and the crying of seagulls, the drumming of a daouli all manipulated by electronic means into a thing of wonder."


NORMAN RECORDS 15/7/10 on rock


Rating: 5
...according to our Brian on 15 July 2010.

"Philthy of Leeds, a semi-reliable trader in tatty ephemera & knock-off phones, recommended this CD to me. He said it's "brilliant". Not one to dismiss the burbling's of such a learned local celebrity, i've undertaken the "special procedure" for the duration of the course of the listening period for which I am obliged to critically examine the contents of this compact disc. This includes finding a room where there are no other guffawing arm-wrestling colleagues, poorly animals or actual human beings and hiding in the corner whilst placing unsightly headphonicular equipment on your bonce. This is where Katerina Koutouzi's world flows into mine. Ah bliss! 'Rock' consists of truly stirring stuff that reminds me heavily of the later Parisian-flecked Beirut gear, Big Eyes and Hey-O-Hansen. This London dwelling Greek lady infuses her homely traditional instrumentation with gorgeous field recordings taken from a very relaxing sounding coastline - all lashing waves & processed samples of seagulls crawing away! By the time 'With the Seagulls I' drops, an ecstatic, skittering ambient form of electronica barges into the mix which plays beautiful havok with the seagulls. I like the playful beats she deploys on some later tracks, they serve the largely organic nature of her arsenal of instruments incredibly well. This CD has a very natural, calming soul & is wonderfully presented, something a bit home-spun & completely charming about it plus the music is tops. Thanks Katerina!"


[sic] Magazine 23/7/10 on rock


"Modern meets traditional on this slice of Greek folktronica.

by Brett Spaceman

“We don’t have a description for this album yet. Care to help?”
Last FM, on Rock by fos.

I was on a similar thought pattern. ‘Whoa, what the hell is this?’ I guess we can improve a bit on Last FM’s unwittingly withering summary. How much, I’m not quite sure.

Fos = London based Greek artist Katerina Koutouzi (who also founded the label) She could’ve made my job a lot easier by basing herself in Paris because this record is steeped in accordion. Now there are thousands of things to love about France – film, wine, food, culture and geography being prominent. The accordion, however, wouldn’t make my list. Sorry to say that for me the accordion is one of the most forlorn and wretchedly depressing instruments known. All this makes for a richly atmospheric record, albeit that the atmosphere in question is one I equate with gloom and despondency.

The album flickers between the traditional and contemporary. Opening track ‘Sunset’ is ultra-modern with its overlapping, Art Of Noise-esque, vocal samples. Then it’s back to her roots on ‘Thalassa Platia’. To think she called the record Rock! We should put the rock music genre out of our minds and think instead along the lines of folktronica, where the folk element is of traditional, Aegean island variety. In fact, the sea plays a huge role on Rock, as it does for any coastal community. I imagine the ‘rock’ is question is some kind of nautical outcropping, or at least a psychological point of stability in a shifting, uncertain environment.

These pieces are crafted with a huge degree of skill. To give an example, ‘Katharsi’ sounds at first like a marine field recording – a creaking fishing boat against a lapping tide, circled by seagulls. Except, I’ve seen something like this before. A Brussels jazz duo once performed something very similar on stage using nothing more than a double bass, accordion and recording device. The bellows were exhaled gently to imitate the tide, then looped to create that ebb and flow effect, micro movements on the bass strings/frets approximated the cries of gulls, while a box was subtly rocked to sound like old boat timbers. It was effective too. Highly realistic and hugely impressive. It just wasn’t what I’d call music.

I wish Koutouzi would sing more because her voice is very sensual. Maybe this record is better understood as a piece of art – performance art, captured on a recording? She has studied dance and choreography and I can imagine she might have created Rock with something balletic in mind. Fos may have a niche audience but I’ll wager that those fans will find much of this music delightful."


The Sillent Ballet 12/08/10 on rock


by Richard Allen

Score: 7.5/10

"If you want something done right, do it yourself. London-based Greek artist Katerina Koutouzi (fos) plays all the instruments on rock; she records, arranges, produces, mixes, and provides the cover art. The album is released on her own label. She sends out her own press releases. Any criticism that is levied will be hers alone; and praise that is lavished will be hers as well. This is indeed a labor of love, and an extremely professional effort given the lack of collaboration. She seems to be a bright and cheerful person, and likely has many friends; however, she prefers to work alone.

Perhaps work is the wrong word to apply here, as the album itself is brash and playful. rock is a summer holiday captured on disc, relentlessly upbeat and magically diverse. It takes only a few seconds for the first wave sample to crash, and many more will follow, along with echoed seagulls and the sounds of vacationers at play.

The album is happy, but it's not subtle. 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. These are the loudest birds since The Cure's "Like Cockatoos", and they seem to be in constant motion, left to right and back again.

fos often uses her voice in onomatopoeic fashion, but occasionally sings; a translation sheet would have been welcome, but is easily accessible on the artist's website. Her voice is sweet and unwavering. She is surrounded, like a child among beach toys, by her own tools: drum programming: piano, accordion and 'found' instruments such as pebbles and conch. At times, especially on the 132bpm "with the seagulls I", her wet electronic patterns are reminiscent of those used by Eurythmics. Only on the opening track, "sunset", does the tone turn slightly melancholic; with its lyrical piano, mid-tempo beats and sparse lyrics, it simultaneously brings to mind Supertramp's album track, "Don't Leave Me Now" and Way Out West's classic 12", The Fall.

This album is not for everyone, and it probably won't sound as good in the winter. It is a beach ball, body surfing, plastic pail and shovel of an album, happy to towel off before rushing gleefully and non-sensically back into the surf. But there is little to fault, save for perhaps a few too many birds and one abrupt ending (Track 4). By the time the closing melodica and chimes of "in harmony" have faded, most listeners will be happier than they had been 37 and a half minutes earlier; and there's not much more than one can ask of an album."


Textura  31/8/10 on rock


"Listening to Rock, one pictures Katerina Koutouzi (aka Fos) holed up in some seaside cottage in Greece playing a rustic piano while swooning to the sounds of seagulls cawing outside. In actual fact, though Koutouzi is now based in London, she comes from Kalymnos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, and spent her childhood years on the island and teenage years in Athens. The album's material is, of course, anything but rock music—perhaps the title alludes to the geographical aspect of the seaside locale that the music so often invokes. Regardless, it's a high-spirited affair that captivates through the force of its imagination and generous range of song styles, with the collection's nine tracks scattering wistful balladry, French chanson, and electro-pop instrumentals across its thirty-seven-minute running time. She sprinkles her largely homespun acoustic sound and traditional instruments (conch, piano, accordion, harmonium, glockenspiel, daouli, khaen, pebbles, chimes, cymbals, melodica) with sounds of the seaside, and unifying the material are the repeated appearance of an arpeggiated accordion theme and field recordings of seagull cries and crashing waves.

Koutouzi sounds positively possessed during “Sunset,” a rambunctious overture teeming with wistful piano and vocal melodies, drum beats, and stuttering voice effects. Waltz-time accordion playing in “Thalassa Platia” evokes Paris as much if not more than Greece; “Un Courant” likewise suggests a smoky French cafe in its pairing of accordion playing and half-whispered vocals. “Katharsi” features accordion again, but this time accompanied by crashing waves and seagulls' cries. Rock steps outside the acoustic framework for the skittering electronic burble of “With The Seagulls I,” a rather haunting instrumental setting that, frankly, doesn't need the seagull samples to make an impact. “Mnimi” is a breezy electro-pop lullaby whose gallop is mirrored by the presence of horses' hooves, and the chiming music box-like melodies of the pretty serenade “In Harmony” bring the recording to a satisfying end.

Rock is a commendable set (even if the seagull sounds are used to excess), and its non-stop flow of ideas holds one's attention. 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."

September 2010




by DEZ

"It isn’t rock, that’s for sure. Fos is the recording name of Anglo-Greek musician Katerina Koutouzi who plays, sings and writes everything herself. She even painted the cover portrait. Using a sampler, all manner of percussion instruments, accordion, piano and harmonium Koutouzi has crafted a varied and charming collection of songs about the sea. Songs in the loosest sense in that around half the tracks are instrumental and others use her vocals as an instrument rather than as a conveyor of any meaningful lyrical content.

This is the aural equivalent of a beachcombing expedition with much of the percussion provided by pebbles and shells as well as an assortment of traditional drums, chimes and cymbals. There are also field recordings galore with natural history of the shoreline – gulls and other creatures – making an appearance. Musically, some tracks burble along on textured loops of keyboard while others have a very European folk feel with accordion and harmonium to the fore. Only a couple of tracks are songs as such, Koutouzi preferring to use her voice as an instrument to be manipulated electronically, but where she does sing straight, such as on the final track In Harmony, she has a pleasingly breathy voice. Rock is definitely worth anybody’s time – an unpolished little gem."


cows are just food 12/10/10 on rock


by marxsbeard

"mmm this is a rum bag. stuttering laurie anderson vox splashes married to little fluffy clouds ambient house married to greek folk and shanties. all wrapped up in semi-conceptual oceanic premise.

wait, come back….

yeah, the danger when you start down this road is that you end up adrift in grim new-agerry, and what you thought was an emotionally engaging blend of field recordings and woozy twinkling is in fact the guff of incense billowing through a three wolf moon t-shirt. the kind of shit gets played in shops selling crystals, dreamcatchers and cards with painted faerie folk on them.

thankfully rock (loving the homonymy) avoids that trap, obfuscating and sidestepping into traditional tropes before it gets all too, well, enigma-y…

distant cousins with some other aquatic themed records: like an experi-pop take on dolphins into the future’s sonic gaia explorations. with more fidelity and minus the skaters-esque fug abstractions. alright verrrry distant cousins. but proffering the same one-man electronics, field tapes and folk wonk as l. pierre’s dip album. so like all this, but different, tapping into that organic/natural/digital vibe. cycles, patterns, waxes n wanes. et peter cetera.

all the work of one lady too; played percussively on mouth, piano, glockenspiel, daouli, pebbles, chimes, cymbals, seagull, water; played melodically on conch, accordion, harmonium, khaen, melodica… so yeah a personal work, given she (katerina koutouzi, the cat’s mother…) does everything, including painting the rather striking cover.

m’assuming the ocean plays some part in her personal mythology; one wrapped up in greek folk song (thalassa platia, a love letter to the sea), greek legend (mnimi, goddess of memory). she talks of the mythical dimensions of natural sounds, the lyrics of soul and sorrow and forgetting. read what you will into the idea of a rock in relation to the sea but there seems to be some underlying sadness to all this. katharsi at a guess is an obvious translation – catharsis, cleansing, purging. back to the sea again, back to reflection, meditation and acceptance.

christ not sure *my* mood’s weighing heavily on these here words. feeling a bit ancient mariner today. hoom…

anyway probably overstating some of this. think it’s just the odd juxtapositions throwing me, y’know when it sounds like bits of board of canada (it does end on an upper, all warm and gloopy) and then jumps to accordion woozing and wheezing in and out in a hawk and hacksaw kinda way. just replace baltic with balkan.

or like on un courant, which follows the gentle lurching wave of yann tiersen’s paris, by way of greece.

or like the paul buckmaster/astor piazzolo 12 monkeys theme, which shares the same theme of loss and memory.

or like or like or like.


it’s a lovely little disc, a self-contained world within.

i dig it."


Music will save us all 20/10/2010 on rock


by zeugolator

Η Κατερίνα Κουτούζη γεννήθηκε στην Κάλυμνο. Περιτριγυρισμένη από μια οικογένεια μουσικών δεν άργησε να κολλήσει και αυτή το μικρόβιο. Έμαθε ακορντεόν απλά και μόνο παρατηρώντας την μητέρα της να παίζει νησιώτικα τραγούδια. Γενικά το περιβάλλον του νησιού και οι παραδοσιακές μελωδίες ήταν οι δύο βασικές επιρροές της Κατερίνας.

Αργότερα θα μετακομίσει στην Αθήνα. Εκεί θα ασχοληθεί με τον χορό και θα έρθει σε επαφή με την μινιμαλιστική  μουσική, καλλιτέχνες όπως ο Wim Mertens θα γίνουν οι αγαπημένοι της. Μετέπειτα θα εγκατασταθεί στο Λονδίνο για να σπουδάσει στο Laban Centre of Movement and Dance. Μαζί με τον χορό όμως θα γνωρίσει καλύτερα την ηλεκτρονική μουσική και αυτό θα την σπρώξει να σπουδάσει και μουσική τεχνολογία.

Κάπου εκεί παίρνει σάρκα και οστά το προσωπικό της μουσικό όχημα, οι Fos. Κυκλοφορεί την πρώτη της δουλειά, Psila, στην δική της εταιρία Near The Exit. Ένα εξαιρετικό μείγμα παραδοσιακών-βαλκανικών ήχων και ηλεκτρονικής μουσικής. Το Rock, είναι η δεύτερη δουλειά της και συνεχίζει στα χνάρια του Psila. Η Κατερίνα αναλαμβάνει και πάλι να κάνει τα πάντα μόνη της. Παίζει όλα τα μουσικά όργανα (βιολί, glockenspiel, harmonium, melodica, ακορντεόν, νταούλι, πιάνο, κρουστά), τραγουδάει όπου χρειαστεί (σε Ελληνικά, Γαλλικά και Αγγλικά), σχεδιάζει το εξώφυλλο και το κυκλοφορεί πάλι στην Near The Exit.

Το Rock σε μεταφέρει χωρίς δυσκολία σε κάποιο παραθαλάσσιο μέρος, νησί ή όχι. Παφλασμοί κυμάτων, φωνές από γλάρους, τίτλοι τραγουδιών όπως thalassa platia, with the seaguls, sunset. Σε μια παραλία όμως που δεν κυριαρχεί το γαλάζιο και το φωτεινό, αλλά το μουντό και το θαμπό. Σε μια παραλία που δεν υπάρχουν ακριβά κότερα και καλοφτιαγμένα σπίτια αλλά σκουριασμένες βάρκες και εγκαταλελειμμένες καλύβες.

Εννιά τραγούδια στα οποία η Κατερίνα εξομολογείται προσωπικές, ιδιαίτερες στιγμές, συνδυάζει με ιδανικό τρόπο ήχους από το παρελθόν και το παρόν, παίζει με τα συναισθήματα και φυσικά σε κερδίζει.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Athinorama 30/09/10 on rock


by Argyris Zilos

"Ηλεκτρομέσα δουλεύει στο Λονδίνο –εκεί ζει– η Κατερίνα Κουτούζη, αλλά «καταρχήν», μια και είναι καπάτσα και σε ακορντεόν, πιάνο, αρμόνιο, νταούλι, μελόντικα, κρουστά – τραγουδάει κιόλας. Η ουσία είναι ότι δεν πιάνεται απ’ τους ήχους, μα από θεματικές ιδέες, που ακτινίζονται πέρα απ’ την ποπ μελωδία, σε μια οργανικότητα μινιμαλιστική, περιβαλλοντική, αφροτροπική... Τώρα, πώς το είδε κι αποκαλεί «ροκ» κάτι τόσο ακατάταχτο... (Near the Exit Music) ".


Cyclic Defrost 16/12/10 on rock


by Doug Wallen

"Not one to hand off tasks to an outside party, London musician Katerina Koutouzi wrote and played everything on this perhaps deceptively titled album. She also produced, mixed, and mastered it, and rendered the front cover’s self-portrait. Her instruments of choice range from accordion and various keyboards to traditional Greek and Lao instruments to makeshift oddities like pebbles and conch. The latter are ideal for an album fixated on seagulls and other ocean sounds, and when Koutouzi’s work as fos best succeeds, it decidedly merges the natural and constructed world.

There’s also a meeting of past and present when traditional influences are filtered through dense fields of loops and electronics. ‘Thalassa Platia’ does just that, managing a melodic richness worthy of Beirut. Chattering birds and crashing tides pervade many other tracks. There are more pronounced rhythms amidst the ocean iconography of ‘Wire’, while ‘With the Seagulls II’ employs an equally heady piano loop. Koutouzi sings in French and layers her vocals on ‘Un Courant’ (“Current”), and sings in English on ‘In Harmony’, a track that’s considerably more pop than the rest. It caps the album with a soft spate of glockenspiel.

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."


New Narcotics 09/01/11 on rock


by Adam Parker

"Time for something strange, artistic and wondrous to close the weekend with Fos, the musical project of a Greek artist, Katerina Koutouzi, residing in London town. She has released two albums on Near The Exit music and is continuing her uniquely personal and emotive musical journey, 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.

'Un Courant' is a harmonium led gem, using such a distinct sound to create a general sense of unease and cinematic tension whilst the low, humming vocals rumble atop it all. A mixture of instrumentation show's itself up in the work of Fos, with Katerina showcasing her prowess with pianos, harmoniums, accordians and glockenspiels, as well as projecting a hauntingly evocative voice.
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. 'With The Seagulls II' uses a deeply affecting piano riff to set up actual seagull effects and a sudden driving beat, adding a dance tinge to what first appears to be a folk-pop exploration. After a few listens, however, the music starts to feel like an artistic expression via sound and melody, with Fos using noise as a true artform and, more importantly, as her artistic voice. The likes of 'Mnimi' is a vocal and harmonious experiment (that works wonderfully) and 'In Harmony' takes a gentle, twinkling ideology, sparkling with a dream-like sense of awe.

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. Catch her at the Shh Festival on 22nd January at Cecil Sharp House to try and experience her own unimaginable world in person."


Sonomu 29/01/11 on rock


Stephen Fruitman

"Glancing sidelong out a cover self-portrait and looking for all the world like a prettier Frida Kahlo, Katerina 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.

Her wholly solo debut - along with singing and playing a room full of instruments, she wrote, recorded, produced and mastered the whole project - opens with a buckshot blast of treated and layered vocals, tub-thumping percussion, piano and organ. Sweet and salty at the same time. The "rock" of the title must refer to what she is standing on looking out across the ocean, because the sound of the sea is never far off, either literally or by inference.

The virtuoso "Sunset" is followed by ”Thalassa Platia", distaff Tom Waits circa "Swordfishtrombones", a tumbling, accordion-wheezing circus act, with Fos singing her native Greek through a bullhorn. For ”Katharsi”, she takes her accordion down to the seaside and plays for an audience of seagulls, who follow her back into the studio for a brisk, percussive electronic romp on the next track.

A little later, the accordion of ”Un Courant” transports the listener to a small, round table in an imaginary Montmartre, and indeed, Fos tears off a lovely, lively number in French, punched up with programmed beats. "Wire" is tour-de-force of voice, accordion and harmonium and hand and stick-beaten drums, obliterated after five minutes by the ebb and flow of waves, which clear the air for a second ”With the Seagulls” track. Now she at the piano, playing her heart out as if accompanying an old silent movie.

In little more than half an hour, Fos conveys an idiosyncratic view from her rock, one that is fresh as the sea air of which she sings on the lovely, uplifting closer, "In Harmony"."




Phontas Troussas

Οι Fos είναι το προσωπικό όχημα της Κατερίνας Κουτούζη από την Κάλυμνο, η οποία ζει, σπουδάζει χορό και χορογραφία, παρουσιάζοντας τη δουλειά της στο Λονδίνο. Έως ώρας έχουν κυκλοφορήσει δύο CD με τις μουσικές της, το “Psila” (2008), που δεν το έχω ακούσει και το “Rock” [UK. Νear the exit music, 2009], ένα ηλεκτροποιημένο κράμα ήχων της φύσης (της θάλασσας καλύτερα), παραδοσιακών νύξεων και minimal απολήξεων, από το οποίο δεν απουσιάζουν τα φυσικά όργανα (ακορντεόν, πιάνο, μελόντικα…), οι φωνές και το τραγούδι.

Η Κουτούζη – όπως συμβαίνει σ’ αυτού του τύπου τις ηχογραφήσεις – στήνει «περιβάλλοντα», αφηγούμενη μια προσωπική της (προφανώς) ιστορία. Αναμνήσεις, αγάπες, όνειρα, άλλοι χρόνοι, φάσματα συναισθημάτων, όλα τοποθετούνται στις θέσεις τους, δημιουργώντας έναν τύπο… φολκτρόνικας, όχι μακρυά, ορισμένες φορές, από εκείνον των Bibio, των Tunng ή ακόμη-ακόμη και του Four Tet. Το αποτέλεσμα είναι παραπάνω από επιτυχές. Σ’ αυτό συμβάλλουν η διάρκεια του “Rock”, που δεν ξεπερνά τα 38 λεπτά (όπερ σημαίνει πως η Κουτούζη πύκνωσε όσο έπρεπε τις ιδέες της, αποφεύγοντας τη λαβυρινθώδη αφήγηση), και μάλλον ο τίτλος του· “rock”… με τίποτα, «βράχος» ίσως κάτι…"