"In Greek Mode … one of the more inventive bands in the current Greek roots scene…" is how Chris Williams introduces Mode Plagal in his April 2002 feature in fRoots magazine (UK).
"... compared to the king of the Thraecian wedding music, the Bulgarian clarinet player Ivo Papasov,..[...]..Mode Plagal are more radical in dissolving the ethnic references..." writes T. Maas, about their 2001 live appearance in Club Paradiso, Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
"… Mode Plagal is hipper than any American record I've heard in a long time… they make a case for fusion that might have saved the genre twenty years ago…" is how Modern Drummer (USA) magazine responded to ethnic-jazz combo Mode Plagal's self-titled debute release back in 1995.
Mode Plagal belong to a group of bands who, using the jazz technique, have created a unique musical idiom. An idiom with references to traditional music and verse, to Byzantine sounds, funk rhythms and many other musical elements which do not belong to just one genre, or have not been used per se, but only as influences.
The Athens based band was formed in 1990 by Thodoris Rellos (saxophone, voice), Kleon Antoniou (guitars, voice) and Takis Kanellos (drums).
In 1995 Antonis Maratos (bass) joins the band and they release their first album, MODE PLAGAL, on Ano Kato records, Thessaloniki.
In 1998, with the addition of Angelos Polychronou (percussion), they release MODE PLAGAL II on Lyra.
This second album was voted No 96 in the annual WMCE (World Music Charts Europe) Top 100, for the year 2000.
In 2001, with the addition of Manos Saridakis and Florian Mikuta -who joins the band in their live concerts ever since- (keys), they release their 3d album, MODE PLAGAL III, on Lyra. Unlike its predecessors, whose material was mostly instrumental, Mode Plagal III features a formidable cast of some of the country's finest female vocalists, Yiota Vei, Savina Yannatou, Eleni Tsaligopoulou and Theodosia Tsatsou.
Mode Plagal III pays also tribute to the richness and beauty of traditional greek verse, the aesthetics that define the demotic tradition and the personification in folk poetry of birds and animals, to who the anonymous creator lends human attributes.
MODE PLAGAL III was voted No 13 in the Top 20 of the WMCE (World Music Charts Europe) in March 2002, and No 33 in the TOP 100 for the Year 2002.
With the recording of their third album, Mode Plagal have completed 12 years of dealing, researching and experimenting on traditional greek music.
In 2003, in cooperation with the traditional group Bosphorus from Turkey, artistic direction by Nikiforos Metaxas, they release with Hitch Hyke the album "Beyond the Bosphorus", with new compositions by artists of both groups, and with the voice and lyrics of Vassiliki Papageorgiou.
Tracks of Mode Plagal albums are included in international world music releases (World Music Network (UK) - Rough Guide to Greece, 2001, fRoots compilation (UK)- summer 2002, Resistencia (Spain)- "Grecia, Oriente y de Occidente" and more)
Mode Plagal have collaborated on stage with many artists, recently with Eleni Tsaligopoulou (1999-2000), with Bosphorus group (2001-2), Yiota Vei and Vasilis Skoulas (2001), Dionysis Savvopoulos (2002-3).
They have also recorded for the National Greek Radio (the legendary 3rd program), and for the New National Television (NET).
The group, a dynamic live band, has given numerous concerts all over Greece and has appeared in many festivals in Greece and abroad, to name a few: 2nd CYCLADIC JAZZ FESTIVAL, the 5th EURO-SYRIAN JAZZ festival (1999, DAMASCUS), the Athens "MEGARON" Concert Hall (1999), 1st and 2nd ETHNIC-JAZZ festival in Athens (2000-1), NATIONAL PERCUSSION FESTIVAL (Thessaloniki), in Smyrni and Istanbul (TURKEY) in collaboration with Bosphorus, for the 100 years of George Seferis, 2000), GAIA festival (Thessaloniki 2001), the BARBICAN THEATRE (London, 2001), in DEN HAAG, AMSTERDAM, UTRECHT and ROTTERDAM (in collaboration with Anadolu Feneri group, a branch of Bosphorus), EARTHFESTIVAL in SPAIN (2001), in Club PARADISO, AMSTERDAM (2001), NIGMEJEN, UTRECHT, DE WARANTE (2001), BATH FRINGE FESTIVAL (2003), QUEEN ELIZABETH – London (2003) and many more.
MODE PLAGAL have managed, up to the highest point, to function and create as a group of autonomus musical nature. Blending jazz, funk, greek folk, byzantine, balcan, african rhythms and more, and balancing with mastery these elements, combing them with their spontaneity and humor - basic element in their work - they manage to show that tradition is alive and always developing and to create their distinct recognizable sound, a musical idiom of their own, fresh, well-crafted and finally downright radical.
Born in Athens. Studied the flute in the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki with Tone Takahashi, theory with George Zervos and Byzantine music with Nikiforos Metaxas in Constantinople, where he worked with the “Bosphorus” ensemble.
He plays the saxophone since 1980 joining various groups in festivals, concerts and appearances in Greece and abroad.
He has recorded for the radio, television, theatre, dance performances and the cinema. Some of his compositions can be found in:
“The morning and the evening” (1991, Lyra) with M. Siganidis
“Mode Plagal” (1995, Ano Kato records) with Kl. Aantoniou and T. Kanellos
“Acid Free” (1985-1992) with V. Dallas, G. Melakis, P. Benetatos
“Pyros Aethir” (2000, Legend)
Bosphorus & Mode Plagal, “Beyond the Bosphorus” (2003, Hitch Hyke)
Born in Sydney, Australia. He studied theory in the Greek Conservatory, guitar with Haralambos Ekmetzoglou and took Harmony lessons with Michael Travlos. Aat an early age he started cooperating with various bands as a singer and guitarist. He first appeared with his own composition in the “Corfu Song Competitions 1981” organised by manos Hadjidakis.
He has recorded for the Music Workshops of the 3d programme (radio) of Michalis Gregoriou.
He has participated in concerts and recordings with many musicians-composers such as Lena Platonos, Nikos Portokaloglou, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Orfeas Peridis, Kristi Stassinopoulou, Dimitris Marangopoulos, Dimitris Poulikakos, Alla Mandata, Echo Tatoo, Way 2 Go, Selana, George Pilali, Platon Aandritsakis, Ayako (HaLo) Hirakata, Mandata Sound etc.
Some of his compositions can be found in
“Corfu Song Competitions” (1981)
“Mode Plagal” (Ano Kato records, 1995)
Theodosia Tsatsou, “Red” (Minos Emi, 2002)
Bosphorus & Mode Plagal, “Beyond the Bosphorus” (Hitch Hyke, 2003)
Dubient (Hitch Hyke, 2003)
Born in Piraeus in 1960.
He has cooperated with : Anti Troppau Council, Manos Hadjidakis, Dimitris Poulikakos, Alla Mandata, Mihalis Siganidis, Mariza Koch, Iraklis Pashalidis, Nikos Portokaloglou, Notios Echos, Takis Barberis, Orfeas Peridis, Light of Anatolia, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Xylina Spathia, Sokratis Malamas and others
He has composed music for the Music Workshops of the 3d radio programme, for the stage performance of Bost’s “Favsta” and Euripidis’ “Cyclop” as well as for the film “Roads and Oranges”.
His compositions can be found in:
Bosphorus & Mode Plagal, “Beyond the Bosphorus” (Hitch Hyke, 2003)
Born in England in 1968. He studied the flute with Dimitris Fotopoulos, Jazz with Dimitris Zafirellis, composition and counterpoint with Haris Xanthoudakis and Theory of Music with Minas Aalexiadis and Panayiotis Adam.
He has been working on traditional instruments (oud and saz), as well as percussion, for many years.
He is a member of Mode Plagal since 1994, where he initially played percussion, and switched to electric bass in 1996.
He has worked with : Orfeas Peridis, Light of Anatolia, Georges Pilali, Mihalis Siganidis and for Musical Theatre. He has participated also in stage performances such as “Eliza” (Municipal Theatre of Patras), “In the name of Eleni” (“Argo” cultural company - Emilia Ypsilanti), “Lysistrati”, National Theatre.
Born in Athens in 1977. He studied the piano at an early age, at the Haimanda Conservatory.top
He graduated from the Music Highschool and Lyceum of Pallini, where he studied saz, oud, tzouras and Byzantine music next to Marios Mavroidis and Yiannis Arvanitis (students of Simon Karras), percussion next to Vangelis Karipis and modern percussion next to Petros Kourtis.
He has participated in recordings of traditional music for the Greek Music Archives, in recordings of Alkinoos Ioannidis, in concerts of Nikos Mamangakis and in live performances of : Alkinoos Ioannidis, Pandelis Thalassinos, Petros Dourdoubakis, Eastern City, among others.
He is a member of Mode Plagal since 1997.
Born in Romania, Campina into a family of traditional Romanian musicians. He first started playing keyboards-piano at the age of 14. Since 1991 he lives and works in Greece.top
He has cooperated with jazz, blues and rock bands around the world. He took part in sessions and has played with Nick and the Backbone, George Pilali, Dimitris Poulikakos, Phil Guy, Angela Brown, Nick Gravenites, Nelie Travis, Louisiana Red, John Hammond, Theodosie Spasov, Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares, Fuat Saka, DJ Vasile, Nikos Papazoglou, Evghenios Dermitazoglou, Thanasis Papakostantinos, Dyonisis Savopoulos, Alex Foster, Victor Wooten, DJ Robert Soko and many more.
He is a member of Mode Plagal - Greece since 2000. Since 2005 he produces, DJs and remixes Electro Ethno Balkan&World music under the project name Transilvania Gypsy Electro Aka FJ Mikuta. He has also cooperated with Shukar Collective - Romania .