Panagiotis Melidis is a singer-songwriter also known as Larry Gus on DFA Records, and Stathis Kalatzis is a techno mainstay formerly known as Mr. Statik. Together they are Territroy, and this spring they release their debut album, Skulls & Plants, on Dekmantel’s UFO label.
The duo has a very specific starting point for their music, and that is the AGET Heracles Cement Factory Plant in Volos, Magnisia, Greece: You’re climbing the Goritsa Hill and the moment you get to the top, you look over to the sea view, but the cement factory dominates the landscape. It lays there almost like a window into the future, where nature, corporate ethos, plant and stone based materials and biochemical extensions all exist as one. The factory is a metaphor that processes the land itself, ignites it in a cancerous way then dumps it into the sea and the atmosphere. It’s a combination of all possible scenarios of optimism and negativity, the essence of trying to do the best for everyone, but accidentally killing everyone in the process.
That contrasting duality is mirrored in Territroy. Each half comes from two separate worlds: graphic novels vs illustration, literature vs empty pages, the functionality and the sheer craft of sculpting sound into feeling vs taking that feeling and analysing it until it no longer exists. More simply put, it is a sports field that is a basketball court at one side and a football pitch at the other, but somehow everyone finds a way to play the same sport, even though one uses his hands and the other his feet.
When one half of Territroy starts a phrase, the other one finishes it, but they speak different languages, and will never be sure if the finished sentence is technically correct, even though they can be certain that it’s definitely finished. What ties them is a constant rhythmic element that is persistent and comes from growing up in Greece and absorbing the rhythmic specificities of Southern Europe and unique Mediterranean attitudes. Importantly, there is also a lot that separates the pair. The result is music that brings together two very different personalities and perspectives but allows them both to coexist, intertwine and unfold in untold new ways.