DescriptionJ.Kriste, Master of Disguise has been Lefteris’ primary project for nine years, blending elements of psychedelic folk and progressive rock with references to Greek music. Moumtzis weaves strong melodies and harmonies into intricate forms with spiritual shades in his compositions, which he orchestrates with a diverse range of instruments. The project is a continuation of the band Masters of Disguise that was active in London from 2005 to 2008.
HistoryIt started as a bedroom project in 2004. Lefteris, while a student in Birmingham, recorded a rather experimental concept album, ‘This is the Alternative’, which was released by Swiss label Moon Records in 2005.
In 2008, after a period living and performing in London, he traveled to Athens, Greece to record the second J.Kriste, Master of Disguise album ‘Girls, Ghosts and Gods’ with his long-time friend and collaborator Alexios Bolpasis. The results were a unique, mainly acoustic, folk album that carried a strong scent of London, where the songs were written, but with evident references to Greek music. Its public reception was magnificent and the album was voted one of the best albums of the year in polls in Greece.
Lefteris gradually started attempting different formations of a live J.Kriste band, presenting Cypriot and Greek audiences with local musicians. In 2010 a 10-piece group was put together for a single show at Rialto theatre in Limassol, Cyprus, which included a string section, flute and kanun. Over the next couple of years the group appeared at several important music festivals in Cyprus.
In 2012 Lefteris returned to the studio to record a long-awaited third album, this time collaborating with producer, sound engineer and drummer Andreas Trachonitis at eleven63 studio in Lefkosia, Cyprus. The album, entitled ‘The Age of Now’ was released on Moumtzis’ and Trachonitis’ own, Louvana Records, in December 2012, receiving excellent reviews.
The band presented new material at Fengaros Festival 2015 in Cyprus.
BandThe last live line-up of the band was Lefteris Moumtzis on guitar and vocals, Pavlos Michaelides on violin, Mikaela Tsangari on guitar, keys, backing vocals and percussion, Mario Michael on bass and Andreas Trachonitis on drums and percussion.
Other collaborating musicians live included Fotis Siotas (violin, viola), Sofia Efklidou (cello), Stelios Romaliadis (flute), Eleftheria Daoultzi (kanun), Demetris Kakavoulis (keys). Musicians who have recorded with J.Kriste, Master of Disguise: Dave De Rose (drums), Kostas Pantelis (guitar), Yiorgos Kaloudis (cello), Ruth Hill (kanun), Alkinoos Ioannides (recorders, lute), Jim Willis (violin), Demetris Yiasemides (flute), James Adams (trombone), Colin Somervell (double bass).