It’s intense, joyous, rugged music – Ben Ratcliff New York Times October 2014
Xylouris White, the new outfit for Dirty Three drummer Jim White and Cretan lute player George Xylouris, makes its Australian debut this summer after tours in the US and Europe. They will be performing in the Sydney Festival, Hobart’s MONA / FOMA Festival and a one-off Melbourne headline show.
Both Xylouris and White are setting out on a rare adventure in music. Each continues to be pre-eminent in his field, but both have decided to bring together the best of their very disparate traditions into a new kind of universal music.
Emerging from Australia’s fertile post-punk scene, Jim White has become one of the most beloved and instantly recognizable drummers of today. Best known for his long-running role in Dirty Three, Jim is a powerful and original player who has flourished in many settings, having collaborated, toured and recorded with a wide array of brilliant artists over the years, including Bill Callahan, Cat Power, Will Oldham and PJ Harvey .
George Xylouris is Crete’s most loved and inventive lutenist, having taken his instrument from a mainly rhythmic role to an excitingly melodic one. He and Jim met through mutual friends on the Melbourne music scene when Xylouris was living in Australia in the early ‘90s. George sat in with Dirty Three on occasion. Later White and Xylouris accompanied Cretan lyra master Psarandonis on a couple of tours before forming Xylouris White. Through a series of live performances and recording sessions in Greece, Australia, and New York City, the duo forged a new sound.
Xylouris makes the lute a lead instrument—a trait he has in common with White, whose drumming often takes a collaborative, participatory role in his work with other musicians. New Yorker Sept 4 2014
Both are extraordinary musicians. From a distance, in market terms, one is a traditional artist and the other a nontraditional one. . Onstage… they look and play like brothers.…the two men have created a hybrid form that they both seem born to…Their music starts with old Cretan forms … and spreads outward into loose, sympathetic improvisations of uncertain length, the kind of thing that has been at the center of each man’s music for a long time.
New York Times October 2014
GOATS the debut album for Xylouris White completes the picture. Produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, it brings together these varied and inspired personalities to create something undeniably fresh and impossible to categorise.
Xylouris’ playing is a sombrely beautiful thing… White, is such a presence on the kit that his percussion has the sense of a lead instrument. Guy Picciotto produces, flatly and cleanly in a way that plays to the music’s strengths. UNCUT October 2014
Video: Psarandonis Syrto
Tickets for all Australian shows are on sale now.
The interplay between these two unparalleled musicians makes for an exhilarating, barrier-smashing live show unlike anything you have ever seen – Sydney Festival Programme