Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Chainides (Greek: Χαΐνηδες) is a Cretan folk music group who are inspired by the vast legacy of traditional Cretan music and whose lyrics borrow words from the Cretan Greek dialect. The group's name comes from the word chainis (Greek: χαΐνης), meaning the fugitive rebel.
The group was formed in March 1990 by a group of friends, namely Dimitris Apostolakis, Dimitris Zacharioudakis, Giorgos Laodikis, Miltos Pashalidis and Kallia Spyridaki. Most of them were then students at the University of Crete. Their discographical debut was in 1991 with the album Chainides that was warmly received by the public. Chainides rapidly grew to seven members and released three more albums before being temporarily dissolved in 1997. One year later, Dimitris Apostolakis and Dimitris Zaharioudakis reinstated the group that was joined by the new members Maria Koti, Alexis Nonis, Periklis Tsoukalas and Antonis Skamnakis.
Over the years, Chainides have collaborated with several well-known musicians and singers. They have performed in several locations both in Greece and abroad and have recorded seven studio albums. In their live performances, Chainides blend their own compositions and songs with new arrangements of themes and songs from traditions such as those of Turkey, Afghanistan and Bulgaria.

Group Members

Dimitris Apostolakis - Cretan lyre, vocals
Dimitris Zaharioudakis - acoustic guitar, vocals
Maria Koti - vocals
Alexis Nonis - percussion
Mihalis Nikopoulos - mantolin, bouzouki
Dimitris Mprentas - flute
Antonis Skamnakis - double bass, electric bass


  • 1991 - Χαΐνηδες (Chainides)
  • 1993 - Κόσμος κι όνειρο είναι ένα (Kosmos ki oniro ine ena)
  • 1994 - Με κόντρα τον καιρό (Me kontra ton kero)
  • 1997 - Το μεγάλο ταξίδι (To megalo taxidi)
  • 2000 - Ο ξυπόλητος πρίγκηπας (O xipolitos prigipas), double album
  • 2002 - Δελτίο ειδήσεων (Deltio idiseon), 3 songs
  • 2005 - Ο γητευτής και το δρακοδόντι (O giteftis kai to drakodonti), double album
  • 2007 - Ο Καραγκιόζης στη Γιουροβίζιον (O Karagiozis stin Eurovision)
  • 2008 - Η κάθοδος των Σαλτιμπάγκων (I kathodos ton Saltimpagon)
  • 2011 - Αγροκτηνοτροφικά και Μητροπολιτικά (Agroktinotrofika & Mitropolitika), double album
click here to download their first 7 albums via torrent -(7 active seeders) + Η κάθοδος των Σαλτιμπάγκων (I kathodos ton Saltimpagon)

Ο Καραγκιόζης στη Γιουροβίζιον (O Karagiozis stin Eurovision) download (will be added soon)
Αγροκτηνοτροφικά και Μητροπολιτικά (Agroktinotrofika & Mitropolitika), 2cd  download

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rammstein - Left or Right?

A short analysis on the politics of Rammstein

I thought this might be of interest for assorted lefts. I've written this article for a music fanzine in my own area, but it certainly has political relevance, especially for fans of the German industrial metal group. The politics of Rammstein have been debated for years, but those who I have spoken with have always been a little unsure of the actual stance of the band. Hopefully this article will go towards clearing this debate up in some ways. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.


Politics are always tied to music, whether it be in the lyrics of your favourite songs or the financial backing of the music company promoting the artist. Many artists repeatedly use their abilities to express political opinion, and as a result of this their fan base is moulded partly through such ideas. However, German industrial heavy metal act Rammstein have consistently found themselves courting both ends of the political spectrum since they formed in 1993. This is due to a number of reasons : not least that the combination of their reputation as the world’s biggest selling German-speaking band as well as their stirring, almost orchestral, lyrics and music have resulted in the modern day acolytes of Hitler and Nazism embracing the band with little enquiry into the band’s political leanings.
Therefore, I am attempting to look at the truth behind Rammstein, and where they see themselves upon the political spectrum, if anywhere.


There is no doubt that within fascism internationally, there is a great deal of support for Rammstein. A lot of this support is simply derived from the fact that the band are German, without any real delving into either the contents of the lyrics or the views of the band itself. For instance, on the well-known fascist message board (Details of nazi site removed by editor in line with our 'No Platform' policy), FarStar88 states, “I'm from South Africa and have recently been introduced to a German Rock band called Rummstein (I think that's how it's spelt). I don't understand the lyrics but the feeling that the music conjures for me is pure Germanic strength and pride.”. FarStar88 later posted again in a darker fashion, “I want to go into battle with that music blaring over some serious speakers. It'll scare the **** out of the Niggers over here.”

It is interesting to note that although there is an underlying number of people, including fascists, who believe that Rammstein may have their roots in White Power music, there is no well-known critical study into the band which proves that this is the case. There is no doubt that the band have been criticised for flirting with fascist imagery, the most famous incident when they used clips from the work of Leni Riefenstahl for their music video “Stripped”. Critics have also jumped quickly to brand the band politically - Jam Showbiz (April 2001) described their album Mutter as "music to invade Poland to”.


Rammstein over the years have courted their share of controversy, once spending a night in a US jail back in 1999 after using a giant dildo at a show in Massachusetts. They have consistently by their own admission pushed the boundaries of good taste, enraging Christian morality campaigners wherever they go, particularly in 2004 when they were accused of trivialising the Armin Meiwes cannibalism case in their video for “Mein Teil“. They were also on the end of a vicious press backlash after the Columbine school massacre when it was discovered that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - the two boys who carried out the shootings - were discovered to be huge fans of the band. Due to pressure by right-wing Christian protest groups, the band issued a press release, stating, "The members of Rammstein express their condolences and sympathy to all affected by the recent tragic events in Denver. They wish to make it clear that they have no lyrical content or political beliefs that could have possibly influenced such behaviour. Additionally, members of Rammstein have children of their own, in whom they continually strive to instill healthy and non-violent values."

It is also interesting to note that after the Belsan hostage crisis, the Russian state claimed that the Chechen rebels responsible had been listening to Rammstein throughout the siege, “listened to German hard rock group Rammstein on personal stereos during the siege to keep themselves edgy and fired up." This however was never independently verified.

The truth is that despite their “on the edge” stage shows and provocative material, Rammstein have always unequivocally denied that they are nazis or have fascist sympathies. The use of Leni Riefenstahl’s works in “Stripped” caused the media to publicly question Rammstein’s political allegiances. Angered by the claims by the press, Rammstein wrote and recorded “Links 2 3 4”, designed as a riposte towards the insinuations of fascist ideology. Kruspe-Bernstein states that the song means, "'my heart beats on the left, two, three, four.' It's simple. If you want to put us in a political category, we're on the left side, and that's the reason we made the song."


The one conclusion we can take from this is that Rammstein have been mainly caught up in a political debate that they have no real interest in whatsoever. They have sadly been branded due to their own tendency to push morality to the limit and damn the consequences. Rammstein will undoubtedly be the subject of much more controversy as they continue to produce music, but one thing is for certain - they will live by their own motto, which according to drummer Doom Schneider is simply : “Do your own thing. And overdo it!”. Rammstein are hardly active Trotskyists, but let’s be fair - they’re not fascists.