Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song comes from Greek mastermind of avante electronic Larry Gus. “The Eternal and the Ephemeral” comes from his 2013 LP Years Not Living, out now on DFA Records.
Larry Gus is a wondrous soundscape of color and vibration. Born Panagiotis Melidis, the Greek producer, whose name is a pun on the Greek word for “larynx” (or “larigas”), bridges hip hop, drum n bass, free jazz, and psychedelia to create a lush picture worth far more than a thousand words. In shaping his new LP on DFA, Melidis started with 85 songs, all written in the midst of the Greek financial crisis in his hometown Veria in Imathia. Using a sample-based style to synthesize the stuttering and sporadic events rolling on around him, Larry Gus dialed his massive creative output down to a brilliantly compact record that begs for air at the seams. Years Not Living is a soundtrack to the life less lived amongst a stressful landscape we all know far too well. The result is quite near divine.
“The Eternal and the Ephemeral” clocks in about halfway through the record. After the perilous journey through “The Night Patrols (A Man Asleep)” and “Taxonomies”, “The Eternal” gives us a bright refrain, kind of like a gulp of fresh air above the clouds. The collection and stacking of samples here is brilliant, giving a laid back 60s air to the skittering dance track. Above the fray, Melidis sings in a fragile, haunting falsetto, barely registering on the sonic radar. But the small accent mark is perfect - it’s a gentle muse on a chaotic plane. As “The Eternal” marches on, the tune molds and morphs and changes shape like a kaleidoscope. The Years Not Living reprieve grants its listener a glimpse into nirvana, while presenting it in such a way that we still have much to learn from our friend Larry Gus.
Currently, there are no concerts scheduled for Larry Gus, but keep checking his website (which you’ll probably need to Google Translate from Greek) and his Facebook page for possible upcoming dates and more information. For now, enjoy the official video for “The Night Patrols”, another song from the new album: