Hidria Spacefolk - "Balansia"
(Silence Records SLC-020)
From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)
This is the bands third studio album and shows a nice progression in the bands all instrumental and very psychedelic space rock approach. The band have once again pulled in several guest musicians to spice the music up. The dual guitars of Sami and Mikko combined with the spaced out synthesizers of Janne and the tight tight playing of Kimmo and Teemu on bass and drums gives the music a special drive. While one will hook into the Ozric Tentacles inspiration, the band create their own unique sound. "Kokkola" starts the CD off at a fast pace as the guitars mix in and out and weave a complex sound over the landscape and Janne mixes in a wide varieties of synth sounds. The melody develops into a really happy dancing section before going back out into space again. One section of this reminds me of classic Steve Hillage jamming. The complex jams the band goes through but keep returning to one melodic guitar theme is really cool. Brilliant song. "Modus Operand Hermetik" starts with some really cool synth sounds as the beat slowly builds and the guitars and drums kick in. This track features cello, and trumpet. One section is really Russian inspired I feel. The trumpet solo is really Mexican inspired which gives the song a unique and unexpected turn. This is deeply tranced out music of a highly psychedelic kind. On "Astrobah", the bass is really deep and shakes the floor as the guitars really take over on this track as we shoot out into space. The vibraphone adds a nice touch to this song as well. "Pajas" slows things down a little and in the middle section gets very spaced out and but slowly builds up again as the guitars let it rip and the band takes off. A guest slide guitar solo is provided by Andy M.Coy. "Pako Originaux" begins with some spacey looping guitars and is very Steve Hillage inspired and in fact used to be called "Steve". This track just blows me away every time. The CD ends with the 14 minute "Tarapita" and again features the guest trumpet. This one is a long amazing journey that starts with some highly effected voices, Indian percussion and acoustic guitars before the adventure begins and it gets more and more intense until the end, where we go back to where we began the trip! This is modern day Finnish raga music for the 21st century. The thing that is so amazing about these tracks is that they evolve continuously throughout with the band occasionally returning to a specific theme but you find something new in each and every song every time you hear this. Really incredible! The very unique packaging is fantastic with great artwork. Perhaps the bands best effort yet!
For more information you can vist the Hidria Spacefolk web site at: http://www.hidriaspacefolk.st.
Reviewed by Scott Heller