By Stelios Vassiloudis
Stelios Vassiloudis has worked in multiple genres throughout his decades-long career, but feels most at home with experimental, low-tempo music. He trained as a classical musician and composer in New York, and was busy learning to write film scores when he first discovered electronic music. As a result, his exploration of the genre was rooted in the intricacies of Bach and the innovation of Beethoven. He was drawn to the experimental, experiential sounds of Massive Attack and Portishead, which led him down a progressive house-shaped rabbit hole.
In 2011 he released his first low-tempo album on Bedrock, and then focused on club music right up until the pandemic hit in 2020, which finally afforded him time and space to return to his cinematic, introspective roots. Stelio’s second low-tempo album ‘All Else Fails’ followed on BALANCE in March 2022.
His latest EP ‘Permanent’ out on November 21 2022 on Reflections, occupies a similar space. The five-track EP encourages deep listening because each production has so many complex, interweaving elements. The time signatures are unexpected and the instrument selections unique. Wood chimes, bells, guzheng, flute, suona and piano all dance together, creating coherency with a hint of chaos.
This sense of creative freedom shines through the EP. You can hear it in the lo-fi beats and high-pitched vocal samples of ‘Dunggu’ and in the complex, understated ambient track ‘Ja Matane’ and in the freestyle jazz piano in ‘Oh, That’s Good’. But Vassiloudis says writing ‘Year Of The Ox’ was a particularly freeing creative experience. “It came very naturally, and I wrote it in this flow state of pure creation.”
Vassiloudis asks for one thing from his listeners – their pure, undivided attention.
“This kind of music can be put under the umbrella of chill-out. Which basically pushes it into this category of background music. But I hope people can get past that and really listen, and let it jog their imaginations.” Stelios Vassiloudis
‘Permanent’ is out now on Reflections.