Rembetika is an urban subcultural musical form similar to blues, flamenco, fado, andtango, but only in that it grew out of particular urban circumstances. The lyrics reflect the harsher realities of a marginalized subculture’s lifestyle…themes such as crime, drink, drugs, poverty, lost love, prostitution, violence, and other themes expressing life at the cultural margins.
Musically its roots are in Turkish Cafe Amanes music from Istanbul and Izmir (Smyrna) and Jewish, Armenian and Greek folk music.
The word “aman” is Turkish in origin and is an expression of unrequited longing, the howl of the wolf at the moon – connected to the traditional lament of women folk – a true amane requires no other lyrics other than the word “aman” sung in a trill of pure lament. The aman is the Oriental/Greek blues.
Our version of Rembetika is an attempt to marry traditional acoustic with contemporary digital culture whilst maintaining the improvisational and passionate expressive elements usually associated with the former.