sat 3 feb 2007 11:02 

Smyrneika is an Anatolian/Greek music movement which was very popular in Istanbul and Smyrna (current Izmir) in early 1900. It is a unique mix of eastern and European music. More than a million Turkish Greeks fled to the Greek mainland after the Anatolian catastrophe in 1922. There the Smyrneika grew into the Rembetiko that is to be seen as the cradle of popular Greek music.

The smyrneika became popular in cities like Athens and Piraeus although the music was viewed as the music of social outcasts. Many of the songs contain provocative lyrics and sharp social-political criticism. This so-called second wave ended in 1937. Dictator Ioannis Metaxas censured all songs with anti-national lyrics and with oriental melodies. Several musicians emigrated to the United States. There they played in nightclubs and released records at big record companies. This way they could hang on to Anatolian tradition and improve it by using elements from popular music of the time.
In this episode of Klankenstapper we will start in 1907 and go via Smyrna and Istanbul to Athens to end in New York in 1939. These beautiful recordings are from a 78rpm record and after twenty years of research, compilation and restoration released in a beautiful 3CD box by Falireas Productions http://www.falireas.com