Words by Maria Lord
The trio Monsieur Doumani formed a couple of years ago in Cyprus with Angelos Ionas on guitar and vocals, Demetris Yiasemides on wind instruments (including flute and trombone) and Antonis Antoniou on vocals and tzouras (an instrument similar to a bouzouki). Since then they have attracted attention for their upbeat and inventive reappraisal of local songs and dances, during which they are not afraid of throwing in the odd quote from other traditions. This, their first album, begins with three traditional Cypriot pieces, two songs and a great rendition of the dance ‘Syrtós Mavrommátis’. The first of the two original tracks by Antoniou on the CD, ‘Out-of-Touch Guy’ is fantastic. Witty and catchy, it keeps its feet firmly planted in the regional music in which they excel but creates something new out of it. His second composition (‘Young Upwardly-Mobile Professional’) is also well worth a listen, with guest vocals from Maroulla Konstantinou and a suitably biting feel. The duo vocals on ‘I Tossed an Apple’ are also nicely done, and another highlight is the ‘Cypriot Sousta’ dance. With scarcely a note out of place, this album would be a great new addition to anyone’s CD shelves.
TRACK TO TRY: Out-of-Touch Guy
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