Release Date: Aug 20, 2013
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Dream Pop, Alternative Dance, Noise Pop, Neo-Disco
Listening to Years Not Living, the second album by Greek producer Panagiotis Melidis aka Larry Gus, it makes sense that he composed music for TV commercials to subsidize his income in between albums. From the first strains of opening track "With All Your Eyes Look," there's something about his kaleidoscopic sample-based beats and phaser-drenched textures that seems right out of the hyper-saturated and unrealistically flowery world of detergent ads, public service announcements, and community college orientation videos. The sunshine pop sample that opens up "The Night Patrol (A Man Asleep)" quickly fades from its kitschy AM radio tunefulness into a slinky bassline and Melidis' dark and throaty vocals.
Larry Gus is throwing a party, and we’re all invited. Panagiotis Melidis, the Greek-born producer and multi-instrumentalist, has been performing as Larry Gus since 2006. Years Not Living, his latest album, is a fun-but-dark take on dance music using a heady blend of live instruments and samples. Like every other party there are breaks and lulls, but it’s the high points that leave a lasting impression.
Check this one into the DFA deep digs pile. US-based Milan-via-Greece producer Larry Gus, aka Panagiotis Melidis, uses free jazz and psychedelic pop samples to create compositions that sound like the bastard children of The Avalanches and Caribou. His new record Years Not Living, which follows the disappointing Silent Congas, probably sounds amateur for sample-based music elitists, also known as Dillaheads, but for those looking for a little weirdness in their music, it has enough charm to at least grab attention for a few spins.
‘Larry Gus’ is a play on the Greek word for ‘larynx’, pronounced ‘lareegas’. But despite Panagiotis Melidis using this as his moniker, the man signed to James Murphy’s DFA Records is no singer. Instead he uses vocals to add texture to the multi-genre experiments on his second album, ‘Years Not Living’. An interest in late-’60s free jazz is obvious, and there are polyrhythmic beats (‘With All Your Eyes Look’) and proggy guitar (‘Pericles’) to behold.