May 19 2011: Unidentified Greek Single by Μαρίζα Κωχ (Minos, c.1971)
From a small pile of Greek singles bought at Colwick a week or so back, nearly all of them titled in Greek, and so impossible to identify who or what the performers and songs are: this one is most likely by Mariza Kox, though what the songs are called is anyone’s guess. Either way, both sides feature beautiful, expressive songs with plenty to locate them on the edge of Europe, halfway to a sound more often associated with North Africa and the Middle East, perhaps, with hints at something ancient in the percussion.
I see a lot of Greek records around, usually either soundtracks (clearly, the popularity of Never On Sunday and Zorba is not to be underestimated) or rather bluntly aimed at tourists, as cheesy souvenirs of package holidays. These 45s are neither, though: according to stickers on the labels, most came from Valentine Record Shop on Limassol, and appear geared more to local markets than tourist or export sales. The tortoiseshell-effect coloured vinyl is seen in about two thirds of the 45s, on several different labels.