Giannis Papaioannou, aka ION, is a very talented musician, sound artist and DJ, active in the underground music tribe of Athens for many years, also songwriter, producer and the leading figure in the industrial band Mechanimal. Under the ION moniker, he has plenty of releases and here is the latest one, ‘Unsound‘, in early October.

Electronica on a broad horizon, formed in the urban cells of drone/dub, which modulates in life’s ambiences, including some IDM and techno trickles. It is a mostly mid-tempo record which evolves over a dominant grey atmosphere and an excellent sound. Vast keys, samples, drum machines “play” with acoustic guitars, pianos, female vocals when needed in the structure, which all give the brilliant (electro) illusion that this kind of musing can be well considered as…songs, why? You see, it needs a certain talent in composing and a perfect sense of duration time. Unlike most of this genre’s musicians, ION acknowledges when the tale is over, and both him and the audience must go to the next one. So, ‘Unsound‘ has an average track time of about 4 min., except for the last two, which are long. You never lose interest in the listening but get excellent moments while “tripping” with it. 10 tales of electronic urbanism are ahead.

Starting the record in a style quite typical of what is ahead is ‘Adrift Ιn Time‘, the “warning” as the opener. ‘Ovale Pantographe‘ comes out of the trippy-dub concerns in ION’s experimentations, followed by ‘In His Cottony Refuge‘, a non-beat environment mostly arranged by a cinematic spirit. Is ‘Hospital California‘ hiding a sad and uncomfortable tale? An almost ethereal music with guitars, so laidback and melodic, but there are birds chirping along with the music…’And Then We Will Become Α Cloud‘…in a violet car with your old cassette we reached for the sky, the LP’s non-beat mid-tempo though acoustic guitar dedication to someone or sometime. Birds again in the end…I am thrilled with that shot in the middle of ‘Unsound‘. The homonym is next as an intermission to the listening, an “occasional” IDMish, lay-low track filled with artificial melodies, since it seems that we change to the flipside…The following tracks, ‘Starless‘ and ‘Omnipresence‘, are mostly based on the beat to arrange the soundscape, along with a lot of electro-industrial elements that are suitably “polished” and placed as the best fit. And ‘Unsound‘ closes with 2 tracks of unique inspiration, ‘All Be Good‘, with the incredibly groovy base that trusses the drone melodies on keys, a 7 min. journey that made me stop analyzing for a while, pump the volume up and simply enjoy it. You gotta listen to it! Finally, ‘Dark Room‘ comes as the longest, almost 9 mins track of ‘Unsound‘, liquid and hiding well its techno seeds as if ION is starting a conversation with the listener near the end, so it slowly evolves into a groovy and dancing ending on the ‘Unsound‘ trip. So, this is an excellent release by a man who always has a good reason to let us taste his work, and you must at least listen to it! ‘Unsound‘ came in early autumn as a music to trick, comfort or refuge our winters…enjoy!

Mike Dimitriou