TRACK BY TRACK: PANAYIOTIS - HAWAIIPRUS

A fantasy island and a concept beyond reason.

TRACK BY TRACK: PANAYIOTIS - HAWAIIPRUS

A fantasy island and a concept beyond reason.

Conceptual and beyond the realms of possibility, Panayiotis has compiled a release based around the soundtrack to an imaginary island, Hawaiiprus. The album is a strange, yet elegant assortment of electronics, cinematic haze and somewhat unsettling tones. Think trouble in paradise meets balearic bliss. The project has all the makings of something very special and the music certainly doesn't disappoint. The narrative behind the album is supposed to reflect an attempt at integration following the arrival of a stranger upon the island. The result is what each listener makes of the experience itself, what they understand it to mean or be. 

The album was released on Honest Electronics, a Cypriot record label which is focussed on the abstract and helps to integrate local music and graphic design. 

We are guided through the 'Hawaiiprus' release below...

1. Limassol Wake 

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

Mid October in Cyprus.

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

It sets the mood and draws you into the story. The music gave birth to the myth and the story pulled every track together. I would love it if people read the small text that I wrote, while they're listening to the music and tried to piece things together.   

2. Larna Canyon

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

February in Cyprus

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

Running. Being chased. Either by outside forces or inside. The tracks start telling the story backwards. The main character is 'Polyhaos' who I imagined being a pretty cool dude. I called him part musician and part orientalist. The premise is that we find notes, recordings and an antiquated digital camera that helps us put parts of this unknown myth together. Listening to my musical notes from the last two years I started imagining what the tale would be. The end of which was to be a bad one. I must not be a fan of happy endings.         

3. Yannapah Desert 

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

August in scorching Cyprus.

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

I had this amazing sample of a Cypriot Shepherd playing the 'pithkiavlin'. This is a traditional flute made from reed. I remember being in my studio late at night when I usually work on music trying different combinations of samples to this one beat with a heavy distorted bass on top. This particular sample made me get up and go out for air. I stared at the stars for a couple of minutes then poured myself a zivania, the traditional white spirit of Cyprus. I went back inside and had another listen. I knew immediately that this was to be one of the center pieces of the album. It felt to encompass the idea of Hawaiiprus in every note. I also knew that I didn't want any other track to sound like this one. It geographically sets the island exaclty where the text says it is believed to be. Between ancient Haxāmanišiya (related to the first Persian empire) and the great capital of Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq (present day Heraklion of Crete)). The musical scale is testament to the influence of arabic cultures and a perfect melting point of west and east. Also it was for me a challenge to learn to play it. I tuned a monophonic synthesizer to it and learned the part. When a friend heard the track he said it sounded like 'Gristakkos', an old Shepherd he had recently met and thats how I discovered that he was still alive and playing music. We visited him and I offered a small token of my apreciation. 4 litres of zivania which we had quite a few shots of, while we listened to his life stories to the tune of his 200 year old snake skin handmade pitkiavli. He told me he calls the piece 'illiovouttiman', meaning the 'sun dive' and he plays it to the sheep when the sun goes down.     

4. Cedar Mountain 

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

Late November. 

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

Thinking about the story, I would experiment in the studio with beats inspired by hip hop and try to place them in a different context. I had taken a field trip with a few friends and we drove for hours around the mountains of Cyprus filming material for a project. It was a magical journey through the country with people I knew but had a mysterious relationship with. Maybe because of a small language barrier. Everything and nothing was on the table. Loads of mixed emotions. This track was named after the mountain where we stopped to shoot in a dark ravine where our model took her clothes off and danced between the spikey branches sourounded by darkness.    

5. Hawaiioanas

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

Early June in Cyprus.

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

The track is made up of synthesized steel drums and a lovely sun set on a deserted beach. Imagine 20 drummers improvising on this beach. Each makes one note and they 're standing in a circle facing each other. The calm before the storm.   

6. Oroklini fields

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

February 

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

The discovery of an evil side to things. Thinking about the flawed nature of humanity and how humans make up the fabric of life and shape each others life. Its innevitable that inside every ritual and celebration of life there are those moments, instances where you would feel alienated or wronged. In this case the current refugee crisis, global warming and nuclear war threaten to destroy our faith in our own species.

7. Troodoos Lakes

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

Early November with the first rain.

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

This track also came from experimenting on my modular setup. I wanted to create an uneasy feeling like when you are trying to concentrate or relax those thoughts but everything keeps swimming back and forth, left and right . Conscious / subconscious. In Cyprus theres road signs which translate the toponymia letter for letter to english for 'easy navigation'. So 'Τρόοδος' mountain becomes 'Troodos' which is read 'True-doss'. The actual pronounciation is 'Troh-oh-thauss'. Based on this I added another 'o'. As with all track names of the album, there is a divergence from the actual places and this is a mechanism to further reinforce the idea that some alien (or foreigner) visited and translated the names as he saw them. Yannapah is from the famous Ayia 'fuckin' Napa. A party destination for years now and a host of many dance scenes especially from the U.K.         

8. Kakopetria rivers

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

February 

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

This track feels like a warm blanket. Its the only track that is made entirely on guitar, delays and a looper. The sound effects were added later on. I often record improvised pieces like this one late at night. If I remember correctly this particular one got me in a bit of trouble as a very good friend and neighbour had had a rough day and was trying to sleep when I woke his baby up. The texts I found on my phone where not pleasant. little side story there. 

9. Paphus Archipelago

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

May in Cyprus. 

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

My favourite track of the album. I recorded the arpegio one night and then un-patched the synthesizer without taking notes. I often do that sometimes on purpose sometimes simply because I forget. Memory is a human condition I like to explore. I feel no memory can be the same. Somethings will change everytime. 

10. Lakatamya waterfalls

What colour most relates to the track?

What season most relates to the track? 

Early morning / late June.

What was the inspiration behind the track’s creation, was it another piece of music, some other experience etc?

I recorded, experimented and gathered sounds for two years or maybe more until I decided to compile some of those sounds into Hawaiiprus. It was a process alongside many others. Work, life, love, failure, excitement, ennui etc. Even though the concept of the album is complex and incompasses within the story some socio-political questions, it came out of mostly emotional responses. The artwork, text and hard work into putting it together came at the end. The final track is like breathing my last breath onto the project. But really this is, for me, the extra track after the last one. I think the perfect setting to listen to the whole album is in the car. You are driving alone or with very quiet company and you go by lakes, rivers and cityscapes being a flaneur, until you reach a destination that feels a little more like home.   


Visit the Honest Electronics site HERE

COMMENTS