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Hidria Spacefolk - Balansia CD (album) cover


Hidria Spacefolk

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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3 stars Edited 09/27/05!

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK are doing a powerful blend of jazz and space rock quite similar to what GONG were doing on YOU of the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" and their sound is as well not much unlike the one of OZRIC TENTACLES. For people loving this kind of space rock (like me) it's a great fun to listen to this album. It's a very dense sound using two yowling guitars, a driving bass, wafting keyboard tunes, bubbling and whistling synths and a bit repetitive drums. They have as well some guest musicians adding up trumpet, cello or marimba. All tracks are purely instrumental and for the ones knowing already the preceding album "Symbiosis", this one here is a maybe a tad less versatile, more homogeneous but as well slightly tougher and more spacey. Overall an excellent, although not very original space rock album I can recommend to anyone liking such stuff. Not essential but really GOOD!!

Report this review (#33152)
Posted Thursday, March 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars One reviewer here, Dieter Fischer in fact, downplays the significance of this Finnish band by noting that they sound unoriginal. He points out that HIDRIA SPACEFOLK sound close to OZRIC TENTACLES. While also noticing this obvious similarity, I must admit I like HIDRIA SPACEFOLK better. Their sound is heavier, more structured and without that special-effect- nonsense present everywhere in OZRICS, when every twenty seconds something whistling, buzzing, or pulsating originates in one speaker and travels to another. OZRICS have always been plagued by their lack of development (not to say originality) -- each of their albums (and even tracks!) sounds almost the same. This is my first album by HIDRIA SPACEFOLK and I hope they will escape this serious flaw of OZRICS' and show diverse music compositions in their other (later) albums. "Balansia" is highly enjoyable. Recommended for those who like psychodelic music.
Report this review (#40656)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I recently discover that band thanks to my friend Christian who sell me that CD. "Balansia" is a refreshing mix of some of the great psychedelic bands of the last 20 years but they really sound different and new. Songs like "Modus operand hermetik", "Pajas" and specially "Tarapita" are really great examples of the talent of this band. Very sychedelic and even prog, with a great work on guitars and drums. Maybe you will find that record looks like Ozric or Melting Euphoria but I think that "Balansia" is one of the most interesting pieces of the lattest years...
Report this review (#54403)
Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album grew on me in just one day after repeated listening to it during a work day in which I was hooked to phones. At first this sounded as disconnected blurbs of music that were connected to each other by mere coincidence. And then after 4 or 5 listens I started to realize. This is not just aimless jamming. There is a theme for the different track. There is a main idea that drives it and sets it into motion. Then after the idea is presented, the music starts swirling and moving into several directions, presenting more ideas that might be seen as jamming. The music is made up of guitars keyboard and then some more instruments to add to the flavour but the result is so very rich in sound. Those musicians are talented and know their stuff. Besides playing very well, they show their jamming and improvisational capabilities and also their compositional skills, which are not to be disregarded. This might be to you just another psych/space album, but I hear here so much more. The way these guys build their music I find to be impressive. Yes, they rely on improvisations and jamming, but the core of the music is well thought out and planned composition. What is beautiful is that they manage to make their music sound as if they had just written it or are making it up as they are playing. The sounds they produce are exotic (with the marimba, vibraphone and trumpet), psychedelic and rock in nature all in the same track. They take on their main theme and develop it further on (sometimes jamming around it) and on a few tracks deviate at a certain point and play in a new direction. There are some brilliant demonstrations of skills here as can be heard on Modus operand hermetic between 3:55 and 4:10. There is truly exceptional guitar and keyboard playing there and in all other tracks. They know where to put in each instrument so that it creates a different effect. For instance the same second track mentioned above has a trumpet at about 6:30 doing a great moving part and the guitar comes in more furiously giving a heavy rock mood. The music they create has mainly a positive and even happy atmosphere to it. It is sometimes funky, sometimes psychedelic and sometimes even exotic in sound. But it all mingles very well. The drums play an important role here, since they provide the great rhythm of Hidria Spacefolk. While not too creative, they manage to deliver a great tempo that suits the different parts of each track, whether it is a faster, rockier one or a more spacey rhythm. With this album you feel that the guys in the band simply love playing music and love what they create. You can sense they are having fun playing those tracks.

Do not be put off by those comparing them to others such as Ozric Tentacles and stating how unoriginal they are (you can listen to both bands, ). Give this a try (5-6 listens at least) and see if you are not getting carried away by their music and enthusiasm.

For pure energy and an exciting musical journey that crosses several areas of music, listen to Balansia by Hidria Spacefolk. Just imagine listening to these guys live. (you can actually do that by listening to their Live Eleven A.M. album). Essential listening, excellent album - 4 stars.

Report this review (#88970)
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is another album for the spacerock proggers out there. You can hear Modus for yourself by the stream above. It's representative of the general feel of the album but you'll be missing out if you limit your listening to just that. To get the obvious out of the way. I've been an Ozric fan since university in the late 80s so this music is defintiely my cup of tea. Hidria are the same genre but quite clearly and obviously distinct. Kokkla kicks in with tribal drums and then a guitar sound that reminds me a lot of Lifeson. The theme rises and the band plays around with different ideas, but throughout there remains a constant upbeat dance feel. Astroban opens with atmospheric keyboard and a beautiful swirl of guitar. Again the upbeat dance feel comes to the fore. I agree with Assaf in that the upbeat rhythm becomes a defining characteristic of the album. The subtle changes of mood are much smoother than I found in Symbiosis. Pajas assumes a gentler feel, almost an hypnotic swaying as the band takes you deeper into the Balansia experience. A couple of minutes into the track there is a full breakdown, the "heart beat" bass fades in and eventually an optimistic riff overlays the new direction. The keyboards pick the theme up. The whole becomes more urgent as a siren fades in and the band drives on. Then you are gently laid down as the band breaksdown to a subtle bass riff with clean guitar. Sweet. Pako Originaux. A restrained intro leads you to a syncopated section quite different from the previous offerings. Bass & drums dominating. A dramtaic change introduces a straight driving line. The track mellows down to allow room for the synth & then guitar to overlay (very Ozric). Tarapita (about 14mins) is out there. Weird soundscape. Harder to describe than the others. So I'll take the coward's way out before my lack of musical vocab is cruelly exposed. This is my favourite Hidria Album so far (of Smybiosis/HRDSF-1/Violently Hippy). My vote for this is one the basis of spacerock. I do not think this is an essential album for the progmetallers but I suppose you won't be reading the review unless you're into this genre. So within this genre it's a 5.

Report this review (#94658)
Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Maybe it's because I started with "Symbiosis", but "Balansia" just doesn't reach the same heights for me that "Symbiosis" does.This one doesn't seem to have the energy or as much guitar as "Symbiosis" does.

"Kokkola" opens with percussion as the psychedelic guitars come in.This song ends up becoming an uptempo and psychedelic kokkola shake. "Modus Operand Hermetik" is one of my favourites. It opens with guitar as the song builds.The drumming and guitar really stand out on this one.The trumpet is a nice touch as well. "Astroban" is an OZRIC TENTACLES sounding song.The tempos shift so smoothly, as we are treated to an array of instruments including a breif marimba solo.

"Pajas" is another favourite of mine.The synths are fantastic on this one, as we get to ride on some spacey waves before the guitar melodies come in. Nice."Pake Originaux" is an atmospheric tune with some great drumming."Tarapita" doesn't really kick into gear until 5 minutes in when the trip becomes very enjoyable for the final 9 or 10 minutes.

I rated "Symbiosis" at 4.5 stars and this one at 3.5 stars. I really like this band, and highly recommend either one of these excellent records.

Report this review (#123271)
Posted Thursday, May 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars

Second studio effort from HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, "Balansia" shows a slight inspiration inflexion compared to their previous opus. Despite longer tracks, the music is now less ethnic and more electronic. There is also fewer variety concerning the percussions and the sonorities. By losing a piece of their identity, the finnish space rockers sound more and more similar to OZRIC TENTACLES. Nonetheless, the composition quality and the listening pleasure are still present.

The opener "Kokkola" is cool, although a bit lengthy. "Modus operand hermetik" is an ambient electronic oriented piece, with discrete trumpet incursions. The best passage of the disc is "Astroban", a 8 minutes track featuring various ambiances. Opening with a spacey strange introduction, it alternates energic rythms with short jazzy and funky moments. "Pajas" sounds sometimes very 70's krautrock-ish.

The guitar weaves spacey patterns over hypnotic electronic sequences on the "Pako originaux". Cool, but a little long. The 14 minutes "Tarapita" is the longest track of the record, and one of bests. It starts with bizarre sounds to later display an egyptian ambiance with discrete trumpet incursions. Then appears a nice bass line, unveiling a dark cosmic passage before the calm finale.

Despite a few lengthy moments, "Balansia" remains a quite good album from the finnish band, however a little less innovative and personal than its predecessor, "Symbiosis". Recommended to OZRIC TENTACLES and space-rock fans.

Report this review (#1548897)
Posted Thursday, April 7, 2016 | Review Permalink

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