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Hidria Spacefolk - Symbiosis CD (album) cover

SYMBIOSIS

Hidria Spacefolk

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.98 | 122 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Nicely Finnished!

Finnish band Hidria Spacefolk are reasonably well known in these parts, thanks in no small part to the availability on their website of a free download of their first EP HDRSF- 01. Look a bit harder on that site though, and you will that their first album "Symbiosis" can also be downloaded in full.

Released in 2002, the album is an exciting, pulsating affair. As the opening track "Terra Hidria" gets going you could forgiven for thinking you had stumbled across a long lost follow up to PORCUPINE TREE's "The sky moved sideways", such is the similarity between the tracks. Here though, there are no vocals to speak of apart from the occasional vocalising of guest singer Sabrina. There are Eastern influences to "Terra Hidria", especially in the flute and sitar parts, but the overall effect is somewhere between Europe and Asia.

There is some nice guitar work on tracks such as "Kaneh Bosm" and "Kaikados", the latter having distinct Santana overtones thanks to the nature of the percussion. "Jahwarp" reverts to the "Sky moved sideways" feel, the track being heavier than much of the album.

"I-Mantra" is a frantic, pulsating number with real energy. The final track "Pangaia" is the longest at just under 12 minutes. There are passing similarities here with the work of Tangerine Dream around the time of "Force majeure" (when they allowed lead guitar to infiltrate their sound). The track has a hypnotic repetitive rhythm with evolving themes which develop as the back-beat slowly climbs the scales. Think perhaps of HAWKWIND plays the TANGS!

The music tends to follow the same pattern, with lengthy part improvised jams over a strong repeating rhythm. At times that rhythm can be reminiscent of HAWKWIND, but the sound is generally looser. Inevitably, given the style of music, comparisons are going to be made with OZRIC TENTACLES. Those comparisons are certainly valid, particularly in view of the repeating nature of the tracks and the predictability of the album as a whole. For me though, the music here is far more dynamic and enthusiastic.

The general production is clean and distinct, with good separation between the instruments. There is an excitement to the performances which indicate a real determination among the band members to deliver something which represents them well.

The space rock tag stems as much as anything from the many floating sound effects which adorn each track, with liquid bubbles and laser fire aplenty. Take those effects away though, and what is left is far more earthy, with strong links to jazz, fusion and avant-garde.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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