Between tradition and contemporary aesthetics, Sousta Politiki forcefully and uniquely revisits the
repertoire of Smyrneiko (Greek rebetiko from Asia Minor) and the songs of Istanbul, adding their own
Formed in Strasbourg in 2016, Sousta Politiki is a Franco-Turkish music group that draws inspiration from various
urban and marginalized music genres of Greece and Turkey. The repertoire they explore is diverse, including
Smyrneiko from Asia Minor, Kanto from Istanbul, rebetiko from Athens or Piraeus, and traditional songs from
Thrace. However, they all share a common connection to the post-Ottoman traditions of the early 20th century.
These songs primarily consist of vocals, and their themes often touch upon of daily life such as alcohol, drugs,
prison, and prostitution.
The songs are approached with a sense of irony and celebration. One can find both joy and melancholy, as in
Argentine tango or American blues. The five members of Sousta Politiki come from diverse musical backgrounds,
including rock, Ottoman music, opera singing, rebetiko, and improvised music. The process of creation and
reinterpretation knows no limits, and the unique instrumentation of the group (cello, Ottoman tanbur, accordion,
bouzouki, percussion, and vocals) allows for surprising and unprecedented rearrangements.