Doric | So Far So Near Review

[dropcap]The[/dropcap] Greek Post Punk and Minimal Wave underground has been productive scene during the past few years. A small, but very vivid scene took up influences of 80s Minimal Wave tracks and obscurities, and most prominently Selofan have gathered a considerable following, with their highly acclaimed album Tristesse and the tour that followed, and Doric – the follow-up project of Human Puppets, who disbanded in 2011 – is another good example for the overflowing creativity coming from a place that’s currently well more known to be fucked over by politics. The solo project of Stathis Leontiadis already got my attention when they released the first self titled record and the second album Over Mentality over Fabrika Records, who have released quite some pieces over the course of a few years – notably albums of Lebanon Hanover, Die Selektion, or She Past Away.

In one or another incarnation, Stathis Leontiadis can be considered as one of the first protagonists of the Greek underground scene to take up the influence of tunes that collectors and enthusiasts dug up since the Internet made long out of print records available again, and certainly, there are gems to find that flew under the radar by the time of their release; a notable example is the Greek Synth Wave projet Alive She Died, who released only one cassette while existing; their songs The First Night and the Joy Division cover She’s Lost Control are amazing enough to fill dancefloors since the tracks were passed on to numerous people with internet access and a certain affinity to endless hours of research on stuff (hi!), and enthusiasts can still find numerous gems that are re-released on various labels and certainly distinguish a nerd from a huge nerd (hi again!).

Doric clearly in- and exhales the DIY and Lo-Fi spirit these records transport. Not exactly being a polished product, Doric always aimed for the dirt that necessarily comes from the use of analogue machines; slightly detuned synth leads, monotonous, ticking drum beats, pulsing octave bass lines and a passionate voice, and occasionally a bass guitar define the sound of So Far So Near, the band’s third effort. Being relatively short (23 minutes only), the album can be called an EP easily, but nevertheless, six quality songs are featured on the record, so that’s not much of a con. Starting off with the title track giving nods to Absolute Body Control and other Belgian spearheads of electronic music, this record is a very enjoyable time machine back to when synths were affordable for the first time and musicians took the influences of Kraftwerk and mixed it with a good dose of Post Punk.

Despite being (willfully) monotonous, Doric are far from being an one-trick pony, serving you your Minimal Wave dance track that doesn’t stick to your brain; the songs are catchy and well-arranged, and Stathis’ voice adds the little dose of extra drama to the throbbing synth bass lines and somewhat spacey leads. Without the shadow of a doubt Stathis Leontiadis has proven himself being an expert on this particular field. If you like Minimal Wave, this album should be yours in no time, and songs like Intruders or The Maze are well worth more than one listen.

Tracklist:

  1. So Far So Near
  2. Like Fire
  3. Sentiments
  4. Intruders
  5. The Maze
  6. Never Ends

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