This CD sat on my shelf for months before something made me play it in October 2001. Perhaps it was a nudge from one of the Greek gods or goddesses as I was standing at the crossroads. In any case, Echotropia became one of my favorite recordings of 2001. Rooted in the sonic vibe of traditional Greek instruments and Balkan musings, Kristi Stassinopoulou takes off on rhythmic romps through vernacular sound realms that frequently culminate in illusory ethno-trance or sheer Asia-minor psychedelia. The title, Echotropia, is derived from two Greek words and literally means “sound turned around,” which for the purposes of our musings here can mean that music travels both ways along the past-present-future continuum. The lyrics are passionate and poetic, the musical arrangements full of juxtaposition and surprise.