Fos Music

London based Greek artist Katerina Koutouzi started writing her own compositions under the name Fos. The music is characterised by a melodic, organic and subtractive aesthetic. Often a sense of sound collage is created using personally recorded and sampled sound memories in order to reach the desired emotional soundscape or feeling. Fos uses instinctive structure while rhythm and melody are equally important. Fos programs rhythmical patterns from her own recorded sounds like pebbles, bells waves or shells and uses minimal melody lines, both supporting each other to create Fos' organic sound. Language is used as another sound tool; Fos sings in different languages and uses her voice as an instrument, often sampling it. The mythical dimensions of natural sounds like the wind or the sea, the drumming of a "daouli" (a traditional greek drum) and the blowing of a conch (one of the oldest instruments on earth) give the music a very "old" quality. Fos is a multi-instrumentalist and in her pieces she performs various acoustic instruments which include an accordion, an old glockenspiel, a harmonium, a piano and a melodica. Fos has reached three albums so far which she released on her label near the exit music. A lot of BBC6 DJs have played tracks from Fos in their shows, including Tom Ravenscroft, Tom Robinson and Nemone. Live performances from Fos include Resonance Fm, NTS Radio, the online dance music TV channel Boiler Room, festivals in the UK and venues such as the National Portrait Gallery in London.
About the Artist
Katerina Koutouzi hails from Kalymnos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, where she grew up to the beat of the local traditional music. She comes from a musical family. To this day her great grandfather, violinist Theofilos Magriplis, is celebrated as the music master of the Dodecanese archipelago, inspiring generations of musicians. Her grandparents sang the island songs and especially enjoyed chanting Byzantine psalms each day. Her father loved to invite local musicians to his house and sing traditional island songs with them. He played the harmonica and was fond of listening to the music of Theodorakis and Xilouris in his car. Katerina’s mother played the accordion and wrote poetry. Katerina taught herself the accordion and learned the old Greek songs her mother played. She spent her teenage years in Athens, where she sang with school choirs and provided accompaniment on the accordion and piano. Katerina soon fell in love with dance, and was introduced to the beautiful music of Hatzidakis and Karaindrou through her first dance teacher, Eleanna Vidali. In Athens she also discovered the beauty of minimalist music and started listening to Wim Mertens, among others. At 19 Katerina moved to London, where she studied dance and choreography at the Laban Centre of Movement and Dance. She loved her choreography studies and firmly believes that in the creation of both dance and music, the same creative process is at work. Her dance studies exposed Katerina to a slew of contemporary music. She went on to explore dance and electronic music, and studied music technology. Katerina Koutouzi started writing her own music under the name "Fos" around the age of 28. She lives and works in London as a musician, writing, producing and performing her own work.
2017 “Captain Free” by Fos, 12” Vinyl and download, Near The Exit Music, Cat. No: NTEMV002
2012 “With the Seagulls II” track release of live recording in the Boiler Room / Red Stripe Make Sessions 5 / NTS Compilation, 12” Vinyl.
2010 “Rock” by Fos, CD and download, Near The Exit Music, Cat. No.: NTEMCD001
2008 “Psila” by Fos, download, Near The Exit Music, Cat. No.: NTEMD000
Reviews (selected quotes)
2017 (on Captain Free)
- "Captain Free has a unique charm about it, powering along like a lost motoric gem..." (Electronic North)
- "Captain Free is subtle yet rich in its dynamics, it flows through you like the life’s blood yet at moments wakes you to a chill of reality. It is a story of a loving soul lost in a loveless world, clinging to the hope that the sailboat will find a welcoming shore, a safe harbor, a port in a black sea storm."(IndiePulse Music Magazine)
- "Nautical alert. The third album from Fos, aka Greek Londoner Katerina Koutouzi, "Captain Free" is an homage to the joys of sailing. Preferably somewhere exotic, but a puddle in the road will do. The music veers from oddball pop to folctronica to neo-classical and Katerina's voice is just the right mix of sugar and salt. "Look at the sun, it's so bright," she sings on the title track, a real gem which appears here in three radically different versions. It is bright too. Get your shades on. P."
2010 (on Rock)
Following the release of “Rock”, Fos received reviews from music critics from all over the world. Selected excerpts from some reviews on “Rock”:
- “a blissed out avant folk-pop revelation. a masterful piece of work that weaves conch, accordion, harmonium, glock, piano and electronic elements into a flowing meditation of oceanic push and pull...a thing of wonder”(The Rough Trade)
- “If you want something done right, do it yourself..The production value is so crisp that it sounds live, with every sound - daouli, conch, footsteps on sand - leaping from the speakers. There is a lot going on, but nothing is hidden; it is as if the noonday sun has burned through the clouds and eliminated all of the shadows. Because so much of the mix is upfront, the album sounds immediate, almost to the point of being confrontational. ” (The Silent Ballet)
- “an unpolished little gem” (Music, Musings and Miscellany)
- “There’s a lot going on here, and Koutouzi juggles each bristling element with finesse. She seems preoccupied with stimuli of all sorts, and even more interested in shaping and wrangling them than your typical experimental musician”. (Cyclic Defrost)
- “...crafting tracks that bob, duck and dive out of the way of genre expectations, moving in such unexpected directions that defy logic but placate the ear...Fos has developed an enormously overwhelming ability to spin together an assortment and array of oddities in terms of sound and style, weaving them together on a giant loom into a tapestry of melody, art, rhythm and hazy dreams... The music of Fos has a folktastic base that spirals wildy off towards avant garde directions whilst maintaining a sense of calm pop in the way each song is constructed and the avenues they explore ” (New Narcotics)
- “Fos conveys an idiosyncratic view from her rock, one that is fresh as the sea air of which she sings” (Sonomu)
- “That the songs range across such a broad range of styles makes Koutouzi's Fos a challenging persona to pin down, but that's at least preferable to the music being too one-dimensional and lacking in variety...Rock is a commendable set and its non-stop flow of ideas holds one's attention.” (Textura)
- “it’s a lovely little disc, a self-contained world within” (Cows are just food)
- “it's "brilliant"...the largely organic nature of her arsenal of instruments” (Norman Records)
- "Modern meets traditional on this slice of Greek folktronica...The album flickers between the traditional and contemporary.. These pieces are crafted with a huge degree of skill...Maybe this record is better understood as a piece of art - performance art, captured on a recording?” (Sic Magazine)
Review from Vinylmine (in greek)
03.07.17 live performance for The deXter Bentley Hello GoodBye Show on Resonance 104.4 FM.
29.11.13 live performance with L' Orchestre Du Mont Plaisant at The Dentist, Clapton, London.
21.11.13 live performance with L' Orchestre Du Mont Plaisant at The Scolt Head, Dalston, London.
05.11.12 live performance for BOILER ROOM/Red Stripe Make Sessions 005/NTS, Hackney Down Studios.
20.09.12 live performance for Fractal Waves with Jess Bryant at the Trangallan, London.
14.09.11 live performance on NTS Radio OPEN - AIR show.
08.07.11 live performance at The National Portrait Gallery (late shift), London.
16.06.11 live performance for the 16th Acoustic Suicide, with Jack Allett and Serafina Steer, The Gladstone Arms, Borough, London.
05.05.11 live performance at the Servant Jazz Quarters with Clorinde, Dalston, London.
09.04.11 “Dino-Digger Dance” live improvisation for audio-sculptural performance for film, collaboration with artist Johana Hartwig, Monk Nash beach, South Wales.
12.03.11 live performance for The deXter Bentley Hello GoodBye Show on Resonance 104.4 FM.
22.01.11 live performance at the Shhh! Festival, the Cecil Sharp House, London.
22.12.10 live performance for the Goo Nite at The Hideaway, London.
30.08.09 live performance at the CWM BACK 09 festival, Wales (Mellowcroft, Mid Wales).
20.06.09 live performance at the Blue Lagoon festival, Wales (St David's, Pembrokeshire).

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