Novi_sad | ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ

ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ is published as a CD + digital release on raster.

The five compositions have been constructed by processing environmental sounds and field recordings from the five continents:

OCEANIA | Tarkine Rainforest

ASIA | Okinawa

EUROPE | Ancient Olympia and Iceland

AFRICA | Uganda, Botswana and Namibia

AMERICA | Amazon Rainforest and Niagara Falls

CD packaged in cardboard slipcase with postcard insert. Limited to 500 copies.

KERAVNOS promo 1

KERAVNOS postcard

€17 EUR | $20 USD | ¥2,200 JPY (worldwide free shipping)



The title of the latest Novi_sad work roughly translates to lightning or thunder as related to Zeus and is a wonderfully fitting title for this album. Based on environmental sounds recorded on five different continents, Thanasis Kaproulias’s latest album is neither pure field recordings, nor is it the product of laborious processing and treatments. Instead it sits nestled somewhere between the two: some segments are clearly recordings of rainstorms or birds, but others are shaped into blasts of noise or melody, sometimes within the span of a few minutes, conjuring beauty and fear much in the way a thunderstorm does.

Right from the opening piece, “Oceania”, this dynamic is apparent. Based on recordings taken at the Tarkine Rainforest, Kaproulias leads off with an electronic-tinged swarming sound, resembling processed migrating birds, and a passing rainstorm. Without warning it blasts into a wall of harsh noise, yet there is still the depth and complexity of sounds amidst the harshness. Slowly he transitions from the noise to focus on a melody that slowly drifts in, ending on quite a beautiful note. The harshest moments of ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ lie in “Oceania”, while both “Asia” and “Europe” are built from similar components: bass heavy rumbles, water sounds, and far off droning melody. The former features a bit more melodicism overall, wobbling and lying under strange textures, while the latter allows more of the unprocessed natural recordings to shine through.

Throughout “Africa”, Kaproulias opts for an almost more traditionally musical dynamic. Insect recordings are reassembled into something resembling bowed strings, and whole thing has an almost rhythmic structure due to his use of looping. The ending is a bit more pure melody and chiming tones, but there is a path of overdriven, harsher sounds on the way there. “America”, based on Amazon Rainforest and recordings of Niagara Falls is overall more dense and oppressive in its dynamic. The combination of rain and waterfall recordings is heavy and enveloping, and the aggressive water sounds only relent at the very end, leaving a foundation of dark, muted tones.

Kaproulias may work with a similar approach and dynamic on the five pieces that make up ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ, but each clearly has its own overall feel and identity. His subtle approach to processing and production is a significant asset here, as it so effortlessly blurs the line between source material and processed results, making for a work that is as much field recording as it is musical. Beautiful, harsh, and jarring from beginning to end, the title fits the work perfectly.


Raster mark their 25th anniversary with Greek composer Novi_sad’s epic episode of elemental field recordings made on five continents and sculpted into thunderous and sublime scapes. Rooted in Greek mythology, ‘Κεραυνóς’ is composed of environmental recordings made in Oceania (Tarkine Forests), Asia (Okinawa), Europe (Ancient Olympia and Iceland), Africa (Uganda, Botswana and Namibia), and America (Amazon rainforest and Niagara Falls) to impressionistically relate a mythos that connects Gods of thunder from Greek, Celtic, Slavic, Norse, Finnish, Indian, Chinese and Roman traditions. Aye, it doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and tends to the broadest frame of references for a release befitting of Raster’s lofty reputation. The five durational works obliquely and evocatively elicit their subject by means of textural inference and timbral nuance; Oceania’s Tarkine forest recordings result a wall of nocturnal bird calls that become soused in flames and give way to lush aftermath; location sounds of Okinawa form a rich blanket of insectoid chatter that sounds like recordings of cicadas slowed 1000%; the various locations of Europe are knitted into a transition from foreboding low end to sublime noise; the Africa piece offers the most haunting, suspenseful scenes of warbling drone wow and flutter; and America’s transformed sounds rainforest squall and cascading water are pregnant with portent.


With the unusual title ‘OpticoAcoustic Oracle’, Greek sound artist and aural experimenter Thanasis Kaproulias, alias Novi_sad, presented an audiovisual project in the ancient city of Olympia on the eve of the flame lighting ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ is the title of the five compositions presented for the occasion. These compositions follow the path of an acoustics discourse marked by the changing relationships between sound, light, architecture, nature and image. They take inspiration from ancient Greek mythology and one of its eternal symbols, thunder, and also from its supreme deity, Zeus. This celebration of one of the most important global sporting moments is supported by intense coloured laser lights and musical pieces that are far from the mainstream pop or classical styles typical of such events. Each composition is named after one of the continents and ambient sounds and audio recordings from the corresponding geographical areas were used: Oceania (Tarkine forests), Asia (Okinawa), Europe (Ancient Olympia and Iceland), Africa (Uganda, Botswana and Namibia) and the Americas (Amazon rainforest and Niagara Falls). Perhaps Novi_sad is fascinated by the mystery of a disappearing world. A symbolist postmodern artist, he conjures up a world populated by emblems, supernatural creatures, ancient fears and inexplicable forces. It is a total surrender of the senses and the power of the soundscapes evoked here impress with soft and ambient recordings, or at other times with noises, full sounds and melodies. Even the title, ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ, with its clear allusion to thunder, actually refers to the laser lights that illuminate the sky during the performance, drawing the outlines of the five Olympic rings, continents, figures of athletes and mathematical symbols. The swarming electronics are tense in “Oceania”, while both “Asia” and “Europe” contain harmonic flows, fluid sequences and deep, meditative tones. In “Africa” Kaproulias opts for more musical constructions articulating the field recordings into something more orchestral and repetitive. Then comes the grand finale “America”, a very dense and dynamically dark composition.

Touching Extremes

Sometimes a necessity exists to neglect the ordinary logic related to a review, in order to address more significant concerns. In tackling the work of Novi_sad (Thanasis Kaproulias) we are privileged to discuss the research of a man profoundly connected with the foundational circumstances of experience. The material ones include journeying across several parts of the world and cooperating with other artistic identities. However, the metaphysical ones – not requiring, in Kaproulias’ case, verbal explication – decisively inform the 56-plus minutes of this disc.

The sounds encompassed by the five tracks of ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ – each bearing the name of the continent from which the respective field recordings originate – are not categorizable as mere selections and/or juxtapositions. They definitely contribute to shaping the character of every piece, and some of them will undeniably furrow the core of a sympathetic being. The aforementioned environmental tones are primarily, but not exclusively meteorological and ornithological in nature. Their positioning together with droning elements of unknown descent does not necessarily warrant striving for a fusion. On the contrary, Kaproulias would have us clearly differentiate the object of aural inspection. Still, the transcendental tissue of certain bodies of resonance can easily drop the listener into a trance-like condition. My favorite episode in that regard is “Asia”, its subsurface echoes and low-frequency murmurs recalling both Thomas Koner’s deepest investigations and Klaus Wiese’s extramundane endlessness.

This interchanging of biotic concreteness and extracorporeal wavering is the record’s most compelling feature. Kaproulias found a conjunction point between earthly awareness – not by coincidence, this is a homage to our seriously ill planet – and the indispensability of shifting gears towards the innermost spheres. We get ready for the next stage through the absorption of harmonic matter that may be deceptively motionless, yet is loaded with innate tensions. As early as the third or fourth listening, those possessing the means to acknowledge the implicit signals will be primed to a new important apprenticeship.

Igloo Magazine

”KEPAYNOΣ was one of the most powerful symbols in ancient Greece—if not the most powerful. As contemporary science proved, the thunders that dominated the earth before the creation of life, gave birth to the primordial substances by enhancing the production of nitrogen and thus amino acids which are essential for the production of proteins and life. In numerous civilizations they believed that the overlord of thunder was a deity.”

This release explores the global mythologies with environmental sounds and field recordings from the five continents: Oceania – Tarkine Rainforest, Asia – Okinawa, Europe – Ancient Olympia and Iceland, Africa – Uganda, Botswana and Namibia, America – Amazon Rainforest and Niagara Falls.

It is a totally original and very intriguing release that also coincides with Raster’s 25th anniversary (October 2021). The tracks themselves really about the sum of their parts and in total, amount to an exquisite virtual journey around the continents that in turn provides for a spectacular sense of place as well as a relaxing platform upon which to explore one’s own thoughts.

The synthesized atmospherics that augment the field sounds succeed in widening the horizons enhancing the minds expansive imagery that such sounds have the power to create. Everything is contained within. There are calms before and after the storms, and not only that, it’s an immensely relaxing composition that will appeal to many in a variety of settings. Waterfalls, storms, nature sounds native to the environment, and soundscapes that are both light and majestic as well as dark and sometimes imposing. They can be lonely and desolate or teaming with life and vitality; gentle, yet bold. In all instances, each track is a unique representation of deep levels of the otherworldly, avid exploration teamed with vivid contextual compositions that emanate an individual beauty.


Next, comes our beloved Raster. One of the most original forward thinking labels that we have been able to discover in the past few years. Listening to a Raster release, is an exploration by itself, like a holiday trip to an unknown place without moving from your comfy couch, where minimalism meets deep experimentation and an ever growing sense of avant garde filling the space every time the needle touches the record. Novi_sad is taking us here through an imaginary trip around the 5 continents, redesigned and reshaped from the mind of a genius.

Nowa Muzyka

Hołd dla potęgi natury.

Twórcy z elektronicznej sceny często sięgają po dźwięki otoczenia. Niestety nie zawsze potrafią je umiejętnie wykorzystać. Często dzieje się tak, że mimo zapowiedzi artysty, w muzyce płynącej z płyty nie słychać tego, co z mozołem rejestrował podczas swych dźwiękowych podróży. Z kolei na wydawnictwach koncentrujących się wyłącznie na field recordingu zazwyczaj brakuje nam czegoś ponad to. Co jakiś czas trafiają się jednak płyty, które zaskakują kreatywnym połączeniem dźwięków zza okna z muzyką. Na pewno należy do nich najnowsze dzieło projektu Novi_sad, opublikowane właśnie przez Raster.

Pod nazwą tą kryje się grecki producent Thanasis Kaproulias. Choć ukończył studia ekonomiczne, zafascynowały go możliwości kreacyjne tkwiące w dźwięku – zarówno tym naturalnym, jak i tym stworzonym. Kiedy zadebiutował w połowie pierwszej dekady XXI wieku, od razu zwrócił uwagę dwóch najważniejszych wytwórni wydających sound art – Staalplaat i Sub Rosa. Nakładem tej pierwszej opublikował płytę z cyklu „Mort Aux Vaches”, a tej drugiej – trzy kolejne albumy, na których z powodzeniem penetrował zarówno estetykę glitch, jak bardziej ambientowe i dronowe formy.

Podstawą jego najnowszego dzieła stały się nagrania terenowe, które Grek rejestrował na całym świecie podczas swych artystycznych wojaży. Powstały one zarówno w Afryce, jak i nad wodospadem Niagara czy w lasach deszczowych Amazonii. Ułożyły się one Kaprouliasowi w opowieść o potędze natury, którą symbolizuje tytułowe słowo „KEPAYNO∑”, oznaczające po grecku grzmot. Odsyła nas ono do greckiej mitologii, w której nazywało jeden z przymiotów Zeusa. Podobnie jest zresztą w innych mitach, a także w religii – choćby w chrześcijaństwie, gdzie grzmot oznacza głos Boga.

Nic więc dziwnego, że płyta zaczyna się od ekstatycznej eksplozji cyfrowego noise’u, która dopiero z czasem cichnie i zamienia się w oniryczny ambient, uzupełniony dźwiękami śpiewu ptaków („Oceania”). Bardziej minimalistyczny charakter ma kolejny utwór, w którym z odgłosów dżungli wyłania się majestatyczny dron („Asia”). Punktem wyjścia „Europe” jest uspokajający szum wody, podszyty dalekim odgłosem wycofanego basu. „Africa” to najbardziej syntezatorowe nagranie na płycie, łączące szelest nocnej łąki z chmurnymi pasażami klawiszy. Całość wieńczy „America”, skoncentrowana na świetlistej elektronice, którą otaczają kojące odgłosy deszczowego lasu.

„KEPAYNO∑” nie jest oczywiście jakimś specjalnie odkrywczym dziełem. Słyszeliśmy już przecież podobną muzykę na płytach Tima Heckera czy Roly’ego Portera. Rzadko jednak tego rodzaju epicki ambient był tak zgrabnie uzupełniany przez field recording. Grecki producent ma wyjątkowo lekką rękę do wtapiania w poszczególne kompozycje odgłosów przyrody. W efekcie powstaje monumentalna muzyka, którą Thanasis Kaproulias oddaje hołd naturze. „KEPAYNO∑” ma swój wizualny odpowiednik: utwory z albumu zostały wprzęgnięte w laserowe show, którego premiera odbyła się na Olimpie w ubiegłym roku.

Vital Weekly

There was a time when a new release by Raster Music was the event of the day. I don’t recall when that stopped. Maybe when I thought there were enough copycats? Or maybe when they stopped mailing promotional CDs? Perhaps I was too critical of the not so ambient music of Alva Noto? I don’t remember, but in the last decade, I have not heard a lot of releases from the label or the main protagonists running that ship. Also, Novi_sad may have been quiet for some time; the last time may have been a work in Vital Weekly 1134; before that 895). Behind Novi_sad, we find Thanasis Kaproulias. His inspiration for ‘ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ’ comes from the Greek for ‘thunder’, of which Zeus is the god of, ruler of the world. In other cultures, it was Taranis, Perun, Thor, Ukko or Indra. Thunder is also the source of the recordings that Novi_sad made on five continents. As said, I have no idea what Raster releases these days, but I’d say that a disc made of heavily processed field recordings might not be their usual cup of coffee. Novi_sad named each of the five pieces after a continent, and, if I am honest, I didn’t look at the cover again to check which continent I was hearing. There is differentiation within these pieces, but if that is due to the field recordings used? I doubt that. Whatever Novi_sad does with these sources, it no longer sounds like thunder, waterfall, or the rainforest. Or, perhaps, Novi_sad adds synthesisers to his music? I am not sure, but somehow I think he wouldn’t do that. The field recordings that we hear are those he sprinkles on top of the ambient pieces. Comparing this with his previous release, I’d say that this is a more mellow one. The previous had at times quite the sonic overload, but on this one, it is all reasonably ambient, with a few sharper passages, such as the digital distortion at the end of ‘America’. I enjoy both ends of his work, with a slight preference for material working with extreme ends. It also depends on the mood I’m in. I had this CD on today, on repeat, mainly because I was too lazy to get up and change it or sit down and write something about it until it was unavoidable. With extremer music, that may not have happened. Novi_sad’s ambient outing is solid but also slightly predictable, not breaking new ground. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

Posted November 8, 2021 in