review page Z

Hidria Spacefolk (3x)
Huoratron (link)
Jeavestone (2x)
Lark Echo (2x)
The Lobsters
Markku Peltola
Octopus Syng
Santtu Karhu & Talvisovat 
La Sega del Canto (2x)
Tasavallan Presidenttt
TV-Resistori (2x)
Viima (2x)
<- A-G

Silence Rec.Hidria Spacefolk : Symbiosis (FIN,2002)****

The style of Hidria Spacefolk is descriped already in their own name (“spacefolk”). They have a sound close to some aspect of early Ozric Tentacles, or perhaps the Nordic group Tangle Edge. Both these groups had a period when attention to their space-psychedelica on acoustic elements was their main concern. Also semi-eastern themes and elements are useful for this. Didgeridoo and sitar confirm this part. We also have some guest musicians. On "Nasha Universo", the less spacefolk, more Santana-rhythmical track, Teemu Väisänen plays some Tull-like flute, and we hear some electronica, besides electric guitars. Also "Jahwarp" has playful rhythms, confirmed by some vibraphone or marimba by another guest Olli Kari, before the spaced guitar and bubbling effects leads the song to space again. More arrangements by guest musicians, Mikko Rajala on violin, and Tuure Paalanen on cello add even more variety. "I-Mantra" is perhaps the most rhythm-driven track.

I followed Ozric Tentacles a short while in the beginning but I found that except for some outstanding tracks their full albums for me weren't too consistent in progression. Today, I enjoyed much more this release instead, from start to finish.

More audio : "Kaneh Bosm", "Jahwarp", "Agents Entropos", "Kaikados"
Homepage :
Info on the group :
Info on this release :
Other review :
German review :
Interview :
Live pictures :
with review of live gig :

Fonal Rec.  TV-Resistori : Intiaanidisko / Indian's disko (FIN,2005)**°

Fonal Music has many acoustic related releases, but this one is a bit different. No matter one might expect a native influence looking at the cover, when one looks closer at the clothing and basic instrument one must realize this Indian can’t be too serious: it must be either funny music or outsider music. I assume the title could mean “Native-Indian Disco” or so. 

Stylistically this begins on the first tracks with a rather funny and entertaining indie-disco, like the title-track “Intiaanidisko". However the group has a few acoustic tracks, like the acoustic duet “Centrumi” with piano, acoustic guitar, tambourine, or “Tuukehtuminen” with guitar, bass, synth. “Melodi Melodika”, “Puhalla Tai Halkean” and “Huomisen Otsikot” are pleasant indiepoprock, always with nice synths, which is definitely the most original or at least my favourite aspect and element of the group. 

More audio : "Pong A Long" , "Centrumi" & "inkkari (nettimix)", "Intiaanidisko", "Lyy2aa3oo Elektroo Centrumi" (with review)
Info : &
English review of band :
& of release :       next->

Silence Rec.Hidria Spacefolk : Balansia (FIN,2004)***°

For this new release the group leaves the acoustic variety behind and exploits more the space-psychedelica core, which for this group has a strong rhythmical section. On “Kokkola” this goes beyond psychedelica : I hear here also inspiration from African rhythms. On “Modus Operand Hermetik” are used almost dub-like psychedelic effects, and, unusual for space-psychedelica, an arrangement of a trumpet by guest musician Samuli Peltoniemi, and some cello by Anneo. Then we get four tracks that drag you into a "live" trance-like effect. “Astroban” to start with gives a great more Ozric-Tentacles-like psych-popular sound with a pretty much (wow-)“live” effect (with on guitar some Steve Hillage-like effects). This is closely followed by "Pajas" keeping this very good "live mood" vivid, increasing the energy to highlighting electric guitar passages embedded in fluid rhythms and keyboards. This fluent play becomes trance-like on "Pako originaux". Difficult not to get into the trance effect of this ! Last fourteen minutes track, "Tarapita" builds up slowly on very simple hypnotic repetitions but with great effect. It has in the beginning just some trumpet improvisations on top of this. 

This is another good release, which is most focused on the hypnotic psychedelic effect of their music.

Info on this release :
German review :
French review :
Soon a live at Nearfest CD will be released :

2007 album, "Symetria" I reviewed on

Wolfgang Rec.    Jeavestone : Crazy Madness -single- (FIN,2004)**'

This group calls their music “Prog’n’Roll”. These two tracks ("Crazy Madness", and "Beauty Contest") have something of a post progressive (not neo-progressive !) and post-(hard)rock mixed with pop feel, and also the voice of singer Jim Goldworth could have been taken from end 60’s / early 70’s. It’s only prog’n’roll and I enjoy it. "Beauty Contest" has most clever arrangements.

Info : & with audio :    
next album ->

Presence Rec./Nordic Notes    Jeavestone : Spices, species and poetry petrol (FIN,2008)***'

Jeavestone didn’t lie back in those years, but worked even harder on their sounds, arrangements and on this production. Immediately I noticed a Yes-influence, especially the second track, “the plastic landscaper” as in many of the arrangements (vocal arrangements, the electric guitars making extra touches to the rhythmic melody), while they admit to also a touch of Gentle Giant. But also Zappa in its influence, like on the third track, serious cabaret rock, with a touch of humour. The arrangements are worked out well, almost like symphonic rock, arranged with the same intentions as in between how and why Yes or Zappa arranged their music. Also flutes and melodica and a bit of cello take part of the arrangements.

Audio :
Info on band : & with audio :
Label info :
German info on

Brimstone Rec.Lark Echo : in the texture (FIN,2003)*
Brimstone Rec.Lark Echo : Spring (FIN,1996)°

* I have some difficulties in reviewing items where there isn't enough work done to the final open sound effect that music creates. This music is basically let's say a Peter Hamill like song oriented style with too many melodic approaches on keyboards, happening at the same time as the singing, with fake synthetic drumming instead of real drumming invention, with a monotonous sound and lack of dynamism. Basically the melodic ideas, which might be based upon progressive music examples, but basically with a pop edge, are good, but the way they're worked out in a gothic pop way still is awful. The production of the basic ideas is poor and too one dimensional. The final effect is dark, and has not much social connection with a listener's natural openness and curiosity. This is one of the so many personal musical projects which are much too personal in expression to be give a sharing listening pleasure. But, if the basic ideas in the music would get a completely transformation just in mentality towards the goal of expression, the real potency in the music could become something much more musically expressive. Here the sound effect is simply too cheap. Best track is "The U.S.E. 2001" (**), which sounds much better because it has separately build instrumental parts, in a 'symphonic rock' way. But also this track would sound much better with another production and a more dynamic sound mixing. 

PS. * I heard the first album too, but I didn't want to review that one. 
PS. * The single, "Spring", received a different production, and a better sound. Here Lark Echo was no longer a one man band. Unfortunately there are not too many musical interactive ideas worked out and it's basically song oriented mainstream progressive rock. 
The CD cover images full of hopelessness describe the music pretty well. 

Info :

Private     The Lobsters : Get Lobsterized (demo-version) (2001)**° 

It sounds very familiar to me, reminding some US group(s) from the seventies I heard before ; now writing this review I can't remember which ones. The group had its inspiration from Acid Jazz as well as from the great Jazz Fusion artists. 
The bass player was influenced by some works of Pekka Phjola, what you can hear at the attention he gives to some of the compositions. Mostly the organ pulls the composition ; when it takes a rhythm, the Electric guitars funky swing onto it, and when it plays atmospheric, the guitars become more adventurous.
 Although the group now regret some mistakes on their demo while having advanced already with more ideas, I have to say this is as good as anything from the seventies to what they are referring too, without being limited by that time's perspective. The Acid Jazz revival might indeed have done this progressive music some good. 
"Napoleon" is more funky, as well as "Comfort" with wawa echo on the guitar succeeding.  I never thought of hearing Hammond organ based music so refreshing any more. "Third Eye" is even more swinging but also progressive at the same time.  

Great and very promising. Recommended to those who like a funky acid jazz with a slight progressive touch.

Info :

Ektro Rec.Markku Peltola & Buster Keaton Tarkistaa Lännen Ja Idän (2006)***' 

With a steady-rhythmical evolution -almost like minimalism-, (working like horse-riding-rhythmic travelling music), we have here instrumental folk chamber music arranged compositions, which are rather filmic. Markku Peltola seems to be a movie actor, and a fan of Buster Keaton. Not sure if this is the actor himself and where the group’s name ends and the title of the disc starts, I can only say the music itself is rather descriptive, and well arranged with what often listens as being arranged by many instruments, which is not more often rather the effect the arrangements give (on the eight track there’s some distorted electric guitar amongst the acoustic instruments). Only first and last track used more recognisable rhythms. Enjoyable.

Audio : "Juuri näin!", "Menopeli" (or here), "Paha Kurki
Info :
Review with 3 audio tracks :
Other reviews : -
Octopus Syng has a folkpsych release with some Syd Barrett influences 
and some sitar freakpsych 
and is reviewed at 
& another one here
Hot IglooSanttu Karhu & Talvisovat : Hyvästit Karjala (FIN,2003)*°

Influenced by the grandmother of the leader of the band, who wanted to raise her grandchildren in Carelian ways despite the Russian oppression, the band as well writes poems and songs in this old mystic language which is especially known as expressing the magic in the old Kalevala epos. The band calls their own style "ethnofuturistic rock", and it is in fact a kind of ethno(pop)rock. 
The lyrics did get attention and praise in the press, but that's the part I sadly have to miss. And which happens more often with music with good lyrics is that the singing (here in duo form -a bit more in low registers, with bass voices-) there are relaxed parts where attention to the singinging is given. Luckily the band is mostly creative enough to add an evolving sound keeping the music enjoyable enough for those who can't understand a word. But although I will still praise the band's sound, listening to a full CD, with full attention without understanding anything, is a bit arduous when the music itself is not emphasized enough. Although the group is surely capable of sounding interesting, I am afraid the expression of the ethnopoprock sound on this album remains too much an accompanying expression of a product with equal singer-songwriter abilities, to appeal as such to a wider audience outside Finland.

Info : &
Contact :
​Another item from the same label ->

Hot IglooRadiopuhelimet : Tänään (FIN,2003)

The style of this tenth album of the psych punk rock band is a bit too aggressive for my taste. I prefer not to review it here.
Tug Rec./Humpa Rec.       La Sega del Canto : Das Kekkonen (FIN,2002)***'

No doubt about the fact that a singing saw sounds rather funny. This cabaret-kind of group not only plays the musical saw very well for a change (most artists I have heard only pretend to master the instrument but they hardly do), they are also dressed up for making fun, visually. Every track somewhere has its musical saw arrangements. The songs are made for fun, with a bit of jazzy amplified guitar and bass and mouth harmonica, with some very satisfying artistic entertainment. The songs (with various instrumental parts) are partly in an in this case funny sounding Finnish, or in an even more funny sounding English. I found it also very original how they used a real saw in one track for leading sawing rhythms. 

The four live bonus tracks are mostly singing saw solos on known melodies, like "Caravan" (Ellington), Swan (Saint-Saëns), Sous le Ciel (Giraud) and My Way (most known in the version from Frank Sinatra).

Video here
Homepage : & Russian fan page :
German reviews : &

A bit more info from the band (2006) : 

"We have this year our 10th anniversity year, new cd in march, book in summer and another cd in end of year. Also DVD coming if we get enough money for that. We do a lot of tours in Finland, German and Russia. Also we have been playing for example in Thailand, Poland, Austria, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania and Denmark. Trying to find agency from new countries (for example from Belgium, Netherlands and other EU-countries, just an hint:)) 
In live band is mixture of music and theatre, CD´s are theme cd´s around something. New cd "Light metal music" will be great collection of Finnish depressions. CD is like a book from birth to death."

PS. More musical saw album you can find on

next album next->

Stupido Rec./Humpa Rec.       La Sega del Canto : Light Metal Music 
-the great collection of Finnish depressions- (FIN,2007)***°

This is the second title of this duo consisting of J.J.Calo (singing saw and complaints) and Mr.Pulp (pump organ, guitar, vocals, piano, saw, percussion) and a couple of guests on vocals, mouth harp, violin and slam. 
Title of this new album : “light metal music”, which refers to the saw, of course. Subtitle : “the great collection of Finnish depressions”, which is a collection of Finnish “losers”, alternated with funny, surprising humoristic, but never the less “depressed” remarks, and expressed dry as introductions for the songs and a few instrumentals (with words like the sad solo voice saying “another 2 beers”, or “one day I discovered the dark side of the moon” or “then my wife found another woman”). 

The songs hang together well and show a variety of emotions, accompanied by well played singing saw, with nicely arranged harmonies of a few other instruments, mostly pump organ and a bit of guitar, and a rhythm here and there. I can imagine with this collection how successful they can or could become on stage. 
I will pick out a few tracks with recognisable origin. “I wane be loved by you” is sung in Finnish, while pump organ, guitar and singing saw, are swinging extra hard with the few extra “bubelapup” vocal fantasies. With the theme of depressed fun, of course and no doubt, an instrumental like “Havannah Gilah” is not outplace. The singing saw plays here quite fast. “Sixteen Tons”, also in Swedish, has some extra, “certain” Latin rhythms. On “Näpit irti” it is the pump organ which is supper fast this time, like ska, while the singing saw sounds more romantic. A true romantic old time song like “Heartaches”, also sung in Finnish, is another fine choice to this collection. Very beautiful also is the inclusion of the melancholic “Adagio” (Albinoni) performed by singing saw and pump organ, -an absolutely convincing version.

A great, recommended album. Where is Belgium on the tour list ?

Russian page :
Label :
French intro on group :

Fonal Rec.  TV-Resistori : serkut rakastaa paremmin / Cousins Love Better (FIN,2006)***°

With this second full CD the group found a more consistent and perhaps even more pleasant sound with all kinds of elements of some alternative pop music genres (electro-pop included) leading to a sound of their own that is really catchy, has a sing-a-long danceiness in them (just dance with your head while you sing la la la or na na na with it). Like with 60’s songs, the group uses strong, tight-and-clear arrangements with a straight emphasis on the (always driving) clever rhythms, close to the bands arrangements. There are more quiet tracks with use of glockenspiel (in combination with the rhythms, guitar, slide-guitar, piano,..). 

I really enjoyed this album so that the 11 3-minute tracks were for me over too easily.

Audio : "Serkut Rakastaa Paremmin", "Odotan viimeistä hidasta", "Viimeinen hidas"  
& on
Homepage : & (with audio)
Label info on this release :

Silenze/Wolfgang Rec. Uzva : Uoma (FIN,2006)****

Uzva are a group who delivered in their first release a calm combination of RIO/symphonic Chamber music driven progressive art rock with mostly acoustic foundations. I didn’t hear the second release. 
This release added a bigger range of arrangements, and some power, in jazz rock. In that last addition, certain fragments reminded me a bit more of Frank Zappa when he was making a kind of jazzrock, although the band mostly is much calmer and refined. 

On the first three tracks the band consists of 12 professional musicians, and the composition has a large jazzy section, which goes from rather symphonic arrangements to more improvised sections.  Each track evolves neatly into the next, forming one big music composition for the first four tracks, an acoustic break starting with harp, marimba and Chinese flute (dizi) on “Chinese Daydream”. This piece builds up to another very jazzy progressive/symphonic art rock mode. 

“Arabian Ran-Ta” is slightly more chambermusic driven (cello,..), with a clever, rather jazzy rhythm section, with a speeding up rhythm. 

The longest piece is “Vesikko” played by 13 musicians, is composed within the whole range of expressions, and has parts that are almost like classical music arrangements, with touches of Chinese folk returning, but there are also rather progressive rock passages, emotionally driven by electric guitars and rhythmically pushing forward drums, with nicely fitting vibes. 

Last track, “Lulleby” is a calm closer with harp, alto flute and bassoon. 

The album is a piece of art with vivid energy. 

Audio : "Kuoriutuminen"(or here),"Different Realities","Chinese Daydream","Arabian Ran-Ta",
"Vesikko" ,"Lullaby" with Homepage :
Introductions on group and album reviews : &
Label info on group :
Short biography on
Review of first album :

Viima Rec.  Viima : Ajatuksia Maailman Laidalta (FIN,2006)****

This I think is the most (new) symphonic (rock) item I’ve heard from Finland until now. 

One can recognise some Genesis influence (flute/keyboards) with a certain melodious rock evolution with female vocals, with a rather sweet result. Some mellotron and the rock guitar improvisation might also bring some of the new Swedish groups to mind (Anglagard, White Willow,..). But in general the sound is more like art folk in a way like Renaissance was built, here with the singing a bit more in a Scandinavian way. It is also excellent singing, and there are really beautiful, sometimes multiple keyboard passages, and a overall nice feeling which is as a artistic approach comparable to the Spanish Amarok a bit. The electric guitars also have some multiple arranged passages. Recommended. 

Audio : "Leijonan Syksy", "Ajatuksia Maailman Laidalta", "Ilmalaiva Italia", "Meri", "Luuttomat", "Johdatus" &
Homepage : &
Other reviews :
German review :

Next release further down->

Presence Rec.Tasavallan Presidentti : Six (FIN,2006)*'
Presence Rec.Tasavallan Presidentti : Six Live! DVD (FIN,2006)***

Scandinavia had been a meltpot for its own forms of progressive rock, with long tracks, bits of jazzrock and blues incorporated which created an inspiration source of their own, a scene which was especially active in Sweden. Tasavallan Presidentti could easily fit within that scene. There were little Finnish groups like this. Just recently they returned with a reformation and a new album, called “Six Complete”. The album at first disappointed me somewhat, because they reveal that their core of new inspirations do not in fact fit well into the progressive rock genre anymore. It has more clear bluesrock in it, sounds like having certain straight forward cover styles in mind, making the result sound for a large part like "good old live rockers". Already then, I thought this music would feel best as a live act. So, no wonder there now is published a DVD compilation of two live acts (good for the first two 85 minutes), professionally recorded.

I like the group well when they redo old songs, or “progressive” covers that refers to some of their heroes and influences, of groups that balance between jazz and rock, like with the Zappa interpretation “King Kong”, but also other references aren’t too far way. I like very much the track “Dance”, a rather improvised piece led by flute mostly (and with some guitar communicative touches and solos), with a rather classical theme in it (not really for the flute, but for the kind of composition, this brings Jethro Tull to mind). The group hangs well together, but often the core remains often (but not always, in the concert performances), straight forward bluesrock, which disappoints me a bit, especially because Frank Robson’s voice and singing does not convince me much (he also reads from paper, as if not too focused) ; his performance still sounds almost a bit lazy (but I found his lyrical inspirations, explained in the interview, amusing, in a positive way). Also the bass player gives me a bit the same impression, very much in the background. Who really gives himself completely, (with vision and maturity), and, it becomes even more clear how much after the included interview, is Juhani Aaltonen (sax, flute, clarinet), who’s contributions and (-,not necessarily jazzy,-) improvisations, bring most “character” to the pieces. Also Jukka Tolonen’s appearances (on guitar and vocals) show maturity. Vesa Aaltonen on drums always fits well, filling out rhythmically the tensions well. 

A great and welcome addition is a recent, 35 minute interview taken for the BBC. This interview shows also segments of live performances from 1973, more fragments of a convincing live concert from 1983, and, a surprise, a great studio recording in the BBC studios. From another live bonus track from 2001, I understand how the manager said in that time that "not too obvious music was born again" now.

Info on group : & & &
Jukka Tolonnen homepage (with video fragments) :
Label info on CD release :
and on DVD :
Intro on DVD :
Other reviews on CD :

Presence Rec.    Kataya : Canto Obscura (FIN,2008)****

Kataya’s music carefully and harmoniously builds up moody landscapes and layers of progressive rock improvisations with each instrument like rather closely connected with one another for giving directions to the moods, as one entity. Some of these landscapes are in between new age (in a positive sense) like cosmic ambient-prog like symphonies, and a sort of original neo-progressive rock because there’s a great and professional, fluid feeling for harmony. At times some spoken word voices, or wordless vocals (canto) colour the mood along, once with operatic ‘progmetal-alike’ associations (mostly just for the female vocals), or even with a slight folk-ethnical association in their provoking but filmic nature.

Audio : "On A Moose" & with audio on
Homepage (with audio) :
Label info :
Description :
German info on

Fonal Rec.Paavoharju : Laulu Laakson Kukista (FIN,2008)***'

This latest release of Paavoharju almost sounds like an astral soundtrack with ghosts of images that appear, become visible and disappear, featuring breathy and ethereal vocals, Kalevala-alike spoken word, round-about electric and toy piano, church organ, outdoor birds sounds, with an occasional electropop song quickly drifting back into the background of processed sounds. The piece is nicely “orchestrated” and produced in such directions, but the recording still is, with all the talent engaged, more mono than it can be, and is also disturbed in the recording by tiny ticks and a bit of occasional white noise. For being able to create such fine piece like this with all the necessary ideas present, I hope next time they will use only the best equipment and engineering. 

Audio : "Kevätrumpu", "Pimeankarkelo", "Uskallan", "Italialaisella Laivalla", "Tytto Tanssii
& on & on
Video's on
Audio & info :
Homepage :
Label info (with audio) :
Other descriptions :
Other reviews :

Previous release I reviewed on

Viima Rec.  Viima : Kahden Kuun Sirpit (FIN,2008)***°

On Viima’s second release the band has evolved a much more symphonic progressive approach, less acoustic. 
While the first track starts with some Folkrock-like melody it is performed and quickly adapted into a progressive rock band approach with well arranged combinations of keyboards/electric guitar and flute in a progressive-symphonic way. In all the symphonic progressions the melodic lines remains well visible. The second track is even more clearly influenced by classical music composition, with its rather baroque introduction with interesting well fitting layers and arrangements of guitars/organ before some quieter parts with flute acoustic guitar, mellotron and keyboards, showing gifted and strongly arranged symphonic progressions composed throughout the whole track. The third track additionally also used a strong rhythmic melodic complexity from a great quality (my collegue mentioned it was very Camel-like and asked me if it was one these bands or a new one), a track driven by keyboard with nice sort of wa-wa effects, with beautiful melodic flows. The last and longer track sounds much less long as it really is, is again more acoustic and calmer compared to the more powerful most progressive tracks. 

A certain change or evolution in direction with a strong result.

Audio & info : &
Homepage :
Other reviews :
Descriptions on & &




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