Sissi Rada: The ‘Monday Is OK’ Mix
Sissi Rada is the guise of Athens-based artist Sissi Makropoulou; a contemporary harp virtuoso and creator of experimental electronica.
Her work straddles two worlds; one of discordance and one of beauty. Her background as a classical musician in part steers her approach but there’s always a distinct sense of intuition and experimentation in her output, which sees her work with her harps, her voice and other electronic hardware.
These threads are on display across her new album Nanodiamond which came out in November on Kryptox. The 13 tracks illustrate Sissi’s ability to make music that explores harmony and melody in new and exciting ways, and feature guest appearances from the likes of Brian Eno, who co-produces one of the tracks, and Lena Platanos, who offers her wistful vocals on single ‘Maps’.
Just like her output, her mix for us today – which she describes as ‘schizophrenic in a sweet and loving way’ – strikes that balance between harmony and disharmony. A befitting soundtrack for a Monday.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you, what are you?
My name is Sissi Rada, I am lost in Athens and my friends tell me I am a classical harpist and electronic music producer. But I doubt all of the above.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
It’s schizophrenic in a sweet and loving way.
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
Empty rosé wine bottles and cigarette butts over a cheap stained table cloth.
If it were a food what would it be?
The food must be eaten and digested long ago.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Alone, infatuated and hungry.
What should we be wearing?
Whatever makes you feel romantically lost and used.
Where was it recorded?
In a small room overlooking the sea in Athens.
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
Poor Mondays. I like them.
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
My brother and a radio station.
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Larry Levan, Carlos Kleiber, Bernard Herrmann, Raymond Scott, Manos Hadjidakis, P.I.Tchaikovsky, Lena Platonos, Scott Walker… I hope to always carry their most fragile parts.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
I think it was Anne Clark’s Sleeper in Metropolis and it made me want to do electronic music.
What were the first and last records you bought?
I think one of my first records was John Coltrane’s Love Supreme. Last week I bought Sylvester, Kool and the Gang, Giannis Poulopoulos and Giannis Spanos.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Esperanza Spalding’s new album.
If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why?
I would like to wake up as a 20 year old bum in New York in the 80s. But I would somehow have to have a car, preferably a black turbo Toyota Celica, to drive to the parties of my favorite DJs all over the USA.