Kristi Stassinopoulou is perhaps the most visible performer of one of the newest innovations to world music -- the ethnotrance movement -- and one of only a very few based both geographically and culturally in Europe. With early exposure to Byzantine hymns and local traditional forms, Stassinopoulou quickly embraced the Mediterranean radio diversity, investing time in Arab, Spanish, Italian, and Balkan music. Falling in with traveling hippie tourists, she also took a strong interest in psychedelic rock, basing much of her earliest work on Jefferson Airplane and their kindred spirits. Parts in a number of musicals and European music festivals, as well as time spent performing covers of American punk, led eventually to meeting Stathis Kalyviotis, a multi-instrumentalist and composer who became both her husband and co-founder of Selena, a small garage rock, punk, and cover band that gained moderate success and a local following, but soon disbanded. From there, she moved into more solo efforts (often becoming duets with Kalyviotis), gaining moderate success with 1997's debut album, Ifantokosmos, and exceptional success with her 1999 sophomore outing, Echotropia (reaching number two on the European world music charts soon after release). She released Secrets of the Rocks worldwide in 2003.
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