Monsieur Doumani

Monsieur Doumani

Avant folk from Cyprus

Armando Bellmas
This week we're listening to music from island nations from around the world. Each day, we'll challenge our expectations of what we think music from a place sounds like, and listen to great music while we do. See where we traveled to this week.

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to Monsieur Doumani, an avant folk trio from Nicosia, Cyprus. The group has long been known for their innovative take on traditional Cypriot sounds. With this release, they shift into challenging terrain for themselves and us listeners, "adding the punch and raw power of rock, the wild colours of Turkish psychedelia, even the hypnotic draw of West African music," as declared on the album's liner notes on Bandcamp. This is a fun and adventurous listen to end the week of music here on Ecléctico.

"Pissourin" by Monsieur Doumani
2021 | Avant folk from Cyprus


Go deeper with this excerpt from and a link to a review by Lee Blackstone on RootsWorld:

Madness is everywhere, it seems. Family, friends, and neighbors are emerging from lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic: putting on shoes, gassing up the car, heading to restaurants…while the pandemic continues. The familiar has become unfamiliar. Conspiracy theories are rife, while politics have been amped up globally so that the right and the left serve as magnetic poles ripping civil society apart. Main streets lie gutted; refrigerator cars house the dead; meetings are Zoomed, groceries one-clicked. It would all be sobering, if liquor stores had not been considered essential services. Who’s behind the mask?

This particular ball of confusion serves the Cypriot band Monsieur Doumani well. The trio is now comprised of Antonis Antoniou (tzouras, electronics, vocals, stomp box), Demetris Yiasemides (trombone, vocals), and, since 2019, guitarist Andys Skordis. Together, they have released Pissourin, which in Greek-Cypriot dialect means ‘total darkness.’ Listening to their latest music, one might think that Monsieur Doumani have written the soundtrack for the Dark Night of the Soul that we have all been blindly lumbering through. There is a spirituality here that is embodied and intoxicated, the band grabbing you by the shoulders to wake you up in these lucid dreams of songcraft.


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