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Hidria Spacefolk - HDRSF-01 (EP) CD (album) cover


Hidria Spacefolk


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 34 ratings

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Almost 20 years after its invention, just over 10 years since its definite implementation, the World Wide Web is still a strange setting. There is always new content to be found, that can shed some light into our knowledge - but there are also dark figures lurking in the corners of the Web. We are still mostly unaware of this beastly tool. Yet there is some sunlight shining over the tides of this cybernautical sea. Music, and especially the knowledge of it, has increased enormously. You can have access to the most obscure music imaginable out there, all the distance of one click. Music that, at times, we would never have dreamed of knowing or expected to find. And yet, this proliferation of music on the web can have its pitfalls. Steve Wilson, at one of the several interviews he gave while promoting Fear of Blank Planet, criticized how kids (and some adults, too!) these days consider theirselves "fans" of a certain band, and when asked what their favourite album is, they reply: "Album? Don't know any, but I got these 5 killer tunes in my I-Pod!" Poor kids, they're only deceiving theirselves.

An acquaintance of mine, an old-fashioned CD shop owner, also criticized this. When I replied that the Internet had its advantages in the divulging of music, he answered me with this folk tale of how he used to get the same knowlege through tapeswapping (his term, as it is) with other people all around Europe. How pre-historic that system appeared to me, a child of the 80's, completely immersed in the Internet fora culture. Then a certain feeling of nostalgia (for something I had never lived myself) hit me. When I thought about it, it seemed a fun system. You correspond with fellow melomaniacs, who send you tapes of "who knows what" that might surprise you or might not, but that still makes you eagerly wait for the mailman, along with the comments on the tape you yourself had previously sent. Yes, such a system, how ever "Mini Cooper-like" it might seem in this "Ferrari" world of ours, certainly appeared FUN. I reckon that quite a few good friendships might have been forged on that system, too. Looking at the PA forum, I can't say I have made any "friends". A few acquaintances, surely, but nothing more. I never even asked or followed recommendations from any member in particular. Suddenly, tapeswapping doesn't seem such a barbaric system after all. I suppose some of the old proggers in this forum might still do it somehow. In a way, such a system hasn't disappeared. The Internet reveals more new music than ever, most of which offered by the bands theirselves. Musical experimentation is no longer confined to the small space of a garage and the length of a tape. It is out there, waiting to be picked, heard and globalized. Such was the case with Hidria Spacefolk, who, imbibed in this spirit, have made their first work available for free in their website.

Most of the songs on this EP sound alike, mostly with a slower intro and progressively speeding up in the form of longish jams. And I guess space-folky would indeed be the best way to describe them. My knowledge of Finnish folk is non-existent, so it stroke me as odd that the beginning of Amos Ame sounded like North African folk-rock (Tinariwen, for instance) although with a certain dance vibe to it. Of course, that impression lasts only while the band does not turn the electricity on - the sound then becomes heavier and faster, with a panoply of instrumentation, of which percussion, flute and a funky guitar are the most recognizable. Kafar-I is more of the same - a very strong south and and southeastern vibe, with the addition of some electronically distorted vocals from which I can't really make sense. It does feature great guitar work. Sindran Rastafan has some great keyboard passages and effects a la Hawkwind, always accompanied by unimpressive yet tasteful electric guitar soloing. The smaller tracks Gnomen and Marastronaut both have a less folky, more electronic feel to it, despite use of percussion resembling tribal drums and even what appears to be a didgeridoo in the first.

All in all, it is an extremely interesting and fresh semi-psych, semi-space-rock project, made ever more desirable by it's free distribution online. The band even available for download the templates for printing front and back cover - thus you can add the album to your material collection, not just your digital one. What, still reading? What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Kotro | 4/5 |


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