1. A song from Algiers (Α. Kaldaras)
2. Gypsy girl (Y. Batis)
3. Into Ι (B. Papadopoulos)
4. Kalogria (V. Papazoglou)
5. Intro ΙΙ (B. Papadopoulos)
6. Minore tou teke (Ι. Halkias)
7. Intro ΙΙΙ (B. Papadopoulos)
8. Sinachis (Μ.Vamvakaris)
9. Toumpeleki-toumpeleki (Κ. Bezos, Τ. Demetriades)
10. Zeimpekiko Spaniolo (Y. Batis)
11. Finale (B. Papadopoulos)
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Babis Papadopoulos' loyalty to minimalism presents itself once more here, on his second solo album, as it did two years ago when he released his first. The Trypes guitarist and long time collaborator of Thanasis Papaconstantinou, has proven on many occasions that his inspiration as far as orchestrating is concerned, is driven by a very rare sense of musicianship. The proof exists in every instrumental dialogue, in the way he delegates those instruments and in the co-existence of wholesome sounds, all of which are evident in early works such as Thanasis' Vrahnos Profitis, but in later ones as well like Agrypnia, another lovechild from the fruitful musical relationship between these two artists. But it wasn't until 2008 that his inspired compositions took on a more solid form when he recorded 'Scenes from a Journey', where jazz, ambient and rock elements were carefully placed together on a large canvas. This album did justice to his genius since Babis managed to guide the listener through exactly what the album title said.
For his next project, he recruits another three important musicians that, judging by the final result, appear to share his idiosyncrasies and obsessions, Dimitris Vlahomitros on bouzouki, Dionisis Makris on double-bass and Giorgos Christianakis on piano. The music retains a strong foundation on greek folk tradition, since Papadopoulos adds seven greek songs from the distant past to his repertoire, as a way to pay his dues to the rebetiko, a genre that inspired him massively. His work is, without a doubt, an attempt to revive and relive the emotions evoked by these songs when they were released back in the 30s (plus one of 1948), through a genuine orchestral and acoustic prism. The songs share more than just the time they were written, they share the common ground where they were conceived, the beautiful harbour of Peiraus. There's also four improvisational pieces that feature Papadopoulos and Christianakis here.
The Dragon's Cave is in no way an attempt by Papadopoulos to make another addition to the (already vast) existing body of musical folklore. Neither does he strive to subtract something from it, rather his aspiration is to translate it safely in today's terms. Only by taking into account how many have tried to repatriate the music of the past and how few have succeeded, can one truly grasp the boldness of this musical endeavour. The risks further increase with the entirely instrumental approach. It can be said, of course, that rebetiko that doesn't use words as a means to imprint the truth of a harsh reality, is like the blues without its sorrowful growls.