No Camera

Reviews

Posted in Archive by ION on 01/11/2008

• One of the pioneers of modern electronic music in our country, Giannis Papaioannou (Rehearsed Dreams / Spiders Web / Raw) once again sets his project in motion, under the alias of Ion, five years after the release of “Sharkbeat”. In “No Camera” which he recorded last summer by the sea, along with a laptop, carries us away in a post techno river filled with feelings, deep atmospheres and abstractive melodies that break loose from the tight boundaries of club sounds. The characteristic minimal element has a starring role as with his previous projects, inviting the auditor to an almost lounge journey that makes a few stops at Detroit or Berlin. So, leave your routines behind you and listen very loudly to the most privileged deep techno album of the year.

Ihos Magazine, Greece

• The return of Giannis Papaioannou in discography is an event on its own for Greek electronica, since he was one of those that helped in opening the path. Experience and knowledge are diffusive. He has complete control over his material, adds creative orchestrations and imminent interventions. Let alone that we realised he had a wonderful holiday as the album was written at the beach of Arkitsa and the summer’s and the sea’s positive aura are the album’s elements. This is an exhilarating deep electronica album that moves like cool water and shows the power of melodies when the beats subside.

Athens Voice, Greece

• Giannis Papaioannou from Greece is Ion and the sounds of this album revolve
around broken or found sounds of a camera and is cited as a post techno album of
electronics. Overall it is film score in terms of production quality dressed with minimal deep looped vibes, which builds in intensity and represents his portable computer sets. Both innovative in its arrangement yet accessible with familiar Detroit sounds, “No Camera” is a future classic.

Blues & Soul Magazine, England

• Recorded on a laptop in the countryside during Giannis Papaioannou’s last year holidays, No Camera is utterly summery, ethereal, structured in eleven small sound canvasses that are worked in a studio he set up in his country house. One by one the tracks were completed like images from summer holiday routines. This is one of the most beautiful releases by Klik Records.

LiFO, Greece

• His frozen techno melts under the Greek sun and reveals its warm side with jazzy and ambient tunes, without ever losing its dance orientation. The latter works just as well in a club as well as in an iPod, filled with sand, by a reclining chair on a deserted beach.

Nitro Magazine, Greece

• This is how techno music can dispense itself from its frigid and industrial character. We are referring to ‘No Camera’, Ion’s new album.

Eleftherotypia, daily, Greece

• Most times we use the term “dance” when we want to refer to the general present and future of music. When we want to advertise, guide, initiate or even belittle. As a type of music we have combined it with cities. With Berlin, Detroit. Chicago. With new people. We like its terminology and its vocabulary. Minimal, tech, thievery dub flavours (Sweet Words), housy (Blue Sky), dubbed out grooves (No Camera). We like it when we’re travelling. At namedays and birthdays. Because it is malleable, explanatory and accessible. We listen to dance because it is the only music that goes with our environment or our desktop, our Ethernet desk. It goes with the ADSL splitter, the router, the drivers (My Soul is a Motor).
With all the pirate software we learn how to use. With every unnamed PC. When we want to forget out old-fashioned ideas. It doesn’t demand devotion, nor some sentimental participation and intention. It only aims to improve our rhythm regime. We turn to rock because we want to remember the past. Our own puberty or our parents’. Reunion parties. Anything that passed and we are not in danger from it. Because we want to be organised and exempt of any vagueness.
We abominate dance when we don’t keep up with the reality of music. When we selfishly unite with our ignorance. When we oppress our assiduity. We underestimate it because we don’t understand it. Because it doesn’t have the initial impact tracks such as ‘Wish you were here’ or ‘Satisfaction’ had. Because it is instrumental. Because it is laconic or monotonous and we don’t understand it. Because we are possibly musically smarter. Or we subconsciously prefer rock’s pyrrhonism. We can’t recognize its motif, characterise its form.
Accept that this simple musical idea can be a sound that doesn’t necessarily has the ability to evolve and combine.
We listen to dance because although its sounds might hide feelings, a dreamy and illustrated mood (Pharos, Blue Sky, Today I Used your Hair Balsam) this music is possibly devoid of such romantic intentions. Ion’s (aka Giannis Papaioannou) new album ‘No Camera’ was out on the 20th of October and it is yet another great opportunity to redifine ourselves. Quiet, relieving, mellow, simple. 8/10

Epiloges, Macedonia, Sunday newspaper, Greece

• Post-techno minimalism never sounded so good!

DJ Magazine, England

• We’re admittedly a little late on this, but when the minimalistic beats are as beautifully blissed out as this, we’d be churlish not to pay it the respect it deserves. Opening with ‘My Soul is a Motor’, a soothing wash of dubby pads, stripped beats, graceful guitar twangs and classic reverberating rim shots. ‘No Camera’ manages to skillishly cross-pollinate the sounds of prog, minimal, Balearica and ambient perfectly without ever disappearing up its own jacksy or becoming too tedious. As the album develops, atmospheric soundscapes smooch with subtle percussive patterns under a constant sunset-like vibe. Like Villalobos dancing cheek to cheek with Sasha and a big bag of sticky green, this is as mellow as minimal gets. Granted, you’re not going to want this for your pre-party soundtrack but for lazy journeys back to sanity, or silly, sleepy, summer sojourns in the sun, this is tantamount to bliss.

iDJ Magazine, England

• When I have to listen to an album for professional purposes, I usually put the CD in, press play and from then on fast forward every track. I didn’t do this, this time though. Right from the start of ‘No Camera’, the opening track ‘My Soul Is A Motor’ got to me. This track could even become a faithful ‘slogan’ for all electronica music lovers. Then comes the groovy ‘Chicago Skyline’ with its hypnotic deep house groove. The next one up, ‘May Nothing But Laughter’ is a more ‘german’ track which is reminiscent of Kompakt’s releases. ‘Summerteeth’ progresses forward and by now we can easily define the ‘greek’ attitude and ideas behind this album. This artist has managed to become an ambassador of a style of music that when it comes to quality it is absolutely remarkable. This album doesn’t lack, as it often happens in this type of albums, downtempo exaltations as the track ‘Pharos’ show us, where the sax plays a major part. Rhythmical house takes its toll in the tracks “Sweet Words” and “Blue Sky”, the latter with vocals by Natasha Tsirou. Then the mood turns to new territories, thanks to the track ‘Time Flies Like a Ghost’ which gets us ready for the closing track, which is also the title track ‘No Camera’, which moves in more ambient territories. Klik Records is, as always, faithful to its hypnotic and dreamy style, but it also pushes forward the meaning of electronica. Between you and me, this is one of the best albums I have heard in the past few years.

Disc-Jockey, website, Italy

• A dance album that works as an album…

This is deep house/tech house territory, but there is more detail and emotion here than you except. Ion draws on a wide range of influences, constructing an album that is both eclectic and coherent. From the head-knodding balearic rhythms of ‘Blue Sky’ to the swollen ambience of ‘Iris’, this is an album designed for relaxed, poolside dreaming or reflection.

That is not to say that the album contains many new sounds or is wildly inventive. There is nothing here that will leap out to surprise you and everything is familiar. But Ion’s strength is in his objective selection of the right sounds and intelligent interweaving of melodies and rhythms. It is a music that unfolds at its own, modulated pace: ‘Pharos’ begins with hollow african drums and phased-out synths, before a jazzy sax line floats over the top and gently soothing vocals pour in.

As part of Klik records’ growing roster of artists, Ion has produced an album that is perfect for summer-listening, but also a nuanced composition that reveals depths. Like so many other works in Klik, the music of this album begins with bouncy uptempo rhythms and melodies and just gets deeper and deeper. Witness ‘Chicago skyline’ and its funky bassline that gradually absorbs the sequenced melodies as they rattle from left to right. Then the found sounds of ‘Yesterday I used your hair balsam’ and the dubby chasms of ‘Time Flies Like a Ghost’.

This is every inch a contemplative dance album. Anyone who wants to find a chillout album that manages to sidestep the usual cliches and keep the good aspects, may well enjoy this.

Mr. S.M. Davies, review on Amazon.co.uk

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