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Hidria Spacefolk

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Hidria Spacefolk Symbiosis album cover
3.98 | 129 ratings | 12 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Terra Hidria (7:03)
2. Reversion (1:39)
3. Kaneh Bosm (5:13)
4. Kaikados (6:18)
5. Nasha Universo (5:15)
6. Jahwarp (5:48)
7. Agents Entropos (3:13)
8. I-Mantra (5:14)
9. Pangaia (11:42)

Total Time: 51:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Sami Wirkkala / electric, acoustic & Midi guitars, mandolin, sitar, jawharp, synthesizer
- Mikko Happo / electric guitar, digeridoo, accordion
- Janne Lounatvuori / synthesizers, electric & acoustic piano, organ
- Kimmo Dammert / bass
- Teemu Kilponen / drums, percussion, voice

- Teemu Väisänen / flute
- Olli Kari / marimba, vibraphone, percussion
- Tuure Paalanen / cello
- Mikko Rajala / violin
- Sabrina / voice

Releases information

Artwork: Tatu Marttila

CD Silence ‎- SLC-009 (2002, Finland)
CD Nordic Notes ‎- NN005 (2006, Germany)
CD Hidria Records ‎- HDRSF-2 (2009, Finland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Symbiosis Music

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Symbiosis ratings distribution

(129 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Symbiosis reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This is one of only two albums I have from these guys, the other being the more trance- oriented Violent Hippy Remixes, and I have to say I find this one much more accessible. It’s hard to believe these guys are Finnish instead of like – I don’t know, something else. The sound here is quite exotic, and I find myself wondering if this is what Third Ear Band might have sounded like if they’d have grown up in the 90s instead of the 60s and 70s.

In fact, that band may have been an influence on Hidria Spacefolk, and Ozric Tentacles certainly were, plus possibly some early Gong and even a bit of early Santana on the guitars and keyboards. The sound is a hypnotic mix of space rock, acid rhythms, lots of sound effects (including bird-like chirping all over the place – a didgeridoo?) and percussion, and a strong middle-eastern feel with liberal sprinklings of mandolin, jawsharp, flute, and of course the ubiquitous sitar, although this instrument seems to fade from the mix on the almost funk-riffs of “Kaneh Bosm”.

The flute is especially strong and up-tempo on “Kaikados” and “Nasha Universo”, which has some very spacey synthesizer and melodic guitar riffs with marimba that is quite reminiscent of Santana and even some very early Journey (pre-Steve Perry of course). Most of the album is instrumental, and this is one of those rare occasions where I don’t really miss a vocalist.

Pretty much the entire album is very up-tempo with driving rhythms and plenty of strong percussion. “Jahwarp” is full of jawharp and vibraphone, very delicate without sounding trite. The piano is almost jazzy, but strident enough to keep you from getting too comfortable or bored.

Just when I’m starting to get pretty comfortable with the overall sound of the album, “Agents Entropos” comes along with pretty much the same rhythm as “Jahwarp”, but with a much more hypnotic guitar riff and some heavy space-rock synthesizer that turns into a kind of electronic storm before fading out.

“I-Mantra” is totally hypnotic space-funk, with a slowly building bass line that morphs into a pulsating beat overlaid with a series of instrumental variations with guitar, synthesizer riffs, all manner of percussion, and a vibrato fadeout that leads into the final and most extensive track, “Pangaia”. The liner notes show credits for violin and cellos, and this is actually the only track since the opening one where I can actually make them out from time to time, although certainly not in the flowing, extended way you typically hear these instruments on progressive or metal albums. They’re used more to augment the percussion, with brief snippets in between the keyboard sounds. By the time this one winds down after more than ten minutes, I feel like I’ve been on a short journey through the cosmos, and I haven’t even been smoking anything! A very seductive instrumental with plenty of variety to keep it interesting.

This isn’t the kind of album you’re likely to play all the time, and it definitely is meant for some very specific moods, some of which probably involve alternate mental states. But overall it’s a fun album to listen to, especially if you’re looking for a record that doesn’t dominate the mood, but rather helps to gently form it into a casual evening of relaxation and no worries. I have to say that this is just above good, but probably not an essential album, so four stars is a good place to rate it. Well worth picking up if you’re into space rock, heavily percussive music, or just some up-beat, lightly psychedelic sounds to brighten up a dull day.


Review by NJprogfan
4 stars Very, very nice young Finnish band that plays a space rock similarly to the Brit legends Ozric Tentacles. You may also hear a bit of early Gong and a smidgen of Hawkwind, but the Oz's are a definite influence. Middle eastern sounds crop up early in the album but when 'Terra Hidrea' kicks into gear it's outer space all the way. They groove and trance also, so if you have a lady friend who may not dig a bit of proggyness, she may come away thinking otherwise, and dance too. My favorite song has to be the last track, 'Pangaea' which is also the longest. It starts out very spacey, but at the 3:25 mark it settles into a vert tasty groove that just rocks out. It continues a bit then switches direction with some riffing then after a few minutes mellows out and ends with a slow fadeout wistfulness. The progiest track and just awesome. A super album and just right for blasting thru your car speakers cruising down the highway.
Review by obiter
5 stars As an Ozric fan for 20 years I felt obliged to check out some of the bands they've gigged with through the years. Boy did I get a suprise with the Finnish 5 piece Hidria Spacefolk. I've been mulling over all their albums for a while before submitting a review. Any review is going to be limited because I have not seen these guys live. OK .. Symbiosis. Nine Tracks of spacerock. Zero vocals. OK that solves the headache to deciphering the deep philosophical mouthings Terra Hidria I & II: acoustic guitar that reminds me of Phil Keaggy (that's a big compliment in my book). Kaneh Bosh finds a new sound with what sounds to my ill-trained ear arabic overtones with a hint of pulsating zeppelin tempered by early marillion. kaikados throbbes (a term for Ozric fans). Nasha Universo has a gorgeously syncopated opening groove with Tull-esque flute. Gotta say that I've never quite heard anything like it. Then it settles in to a contagiously boppy theme. Music that a thousand student unions would love to move to. break down. Parra diddle out welcome back jethro tull with jon lord guesting .... Just excellent. Jahwarp. INteresting bass. Nice playing but (being picky) I would have preferred Kimmo Dammert to have had a cleaner sound with more attack. Nevertheless an intriguing track. Sometimes the transitions are a little harsh (but the same could be said of Topographic Oceans which is one of my all time favourites) but even so they drag along over the rough edges, and maybe that's what good music should do. I-mantra (very high tempo opening (not my cup of Tea)) "each to their own" as my ma says. Pangaia, beautiful bass groove. Hidria craeate a dense soudstage but still captivating. The everpresent Teemu Kilponen impresses. Agent Entropos: there's no point ... just listen to this. Short but hilarious. My favourite.7 stars You know, this is doing an injustice. I always try to describe new music by comparing it to what has gone before. None of us live in a vacuum so that will always be valid, but it may only serve to pigeon hole the band in the reader's mind. If you like Ozric Tentacles you WILL like Hidria. In fact, the local Ozric fans are completely bowled over by this Finnish outfit. Please come to Belfast!!! Such is the impact of this group that there are already 6 of us planning a trip to Finland to catch a gig. Rating ...5 because I really do think this is one that anyone interested in spacerock must listen to. And if not this one then Balansia
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is one of the best albums i have heard from this Psychedelic / Spacerock category.This isn't as repetitive as a lot of spacerock is, and it is so melodic with lots of solos as well.There are many instruments used like violin, jawharp, accordion, flute, mandolin, vibraphone, sitar and cello as well as the traditional ones.The sound by the way is crystal clear.

Things get started with "Terra Hidria" opening with an atmospheric guitar melody that slowly builds until 2 1/2 minutes in as drums and a vocal melody from Sabrina come in. I really love the sound here as flute and synths come in, and mandolin later in the song. "Reversion" is a short haunting and spooky soundscape. "Kaneh Bosm" is an upbeat tune with synths, sitar and some fantastic drumming. "Kaikados" opens with the rain coming down with synths and guitar as thunder rolls in. This is another uptempo ride in space as the stars whiz by. The guitars are great and check it out 4 minutes in. Vibraphone enters the song before it ends with the birds singing.

"Nasha Universo" has a very catchy melody. The guitar is beautiful and although they're not quite soaring, I am, these guys are so good ! The flute and drumming is amazing. "Jawharp" opens with the birds singing and vibraphone, drums, guitar, bubbling synths, piano and cello are all part of the mix. The melody speeds up on this fantastic tune. "Agents Entropos" has such an intoxicating sound to it with more great drums, vibraphone and amazing guitar. "I-Mantra" opens with percussion that just builds and builds until you know something has to give, and then the guitar comes in guns blazing in this uptempo song with terrific drumming and synths that seem to riccochet around in the melody. The final song "Pangaia" features hypnotic and mesmerizing melodies of synths and drums. The song slows down and ends with cello and violin.

I came close to giving this a five star rating, it's that good ! I highly recommend this band and this album. Especially if you like the OZRIC TENTACLES.

Review by 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.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Showing a major influence from the Ozric Tentacles, Hidria Spacefolk's debut album Synthesis is stuffed with the same sort of shimmering dance music/space rock crossbreed that the Ozrics made famous. In fact, that's rather a flaw with the album - it's so close to the Ozrics, it could be mistaken for a long-lost Ozrics album. And when the Tentacles themselves have already repeated their formula to the point of self-plagiarism, do we really need more people getting in on the act? It's a reasonably good stab at the Ozrics formula, but the Ozrics have done better - and have done better frequently enough that there's little reason to get even more albums in this vein unless you literally cannot get enough of them.
Review by Sinusoid
3 stars If only the album panned out to be of the quality standards of ''Pangaea'', then I would say that SYMBIOSIS is one of the great examples of modern space rock. It's got the world music influence and synthscapes of the Ozric Tentacles at their best, but throws enough rock into the mix to be different. It's got discernible sections of different dynamic levels and the whole transitioning of the piece is rather smooth. It's easily the highlight of the record.

Then the rest of the album hits and only ''Kanem Boss'' and ''I-Mantra'' can even sniff what ''Pangaea'' did. That ''same-y'' feeling that I get by the time ''Jahwarp'' is rather disappointing considering the psychedelic promise of the epic finale. It's one of those decent albums that really frustrates me when I try to describe it because there's plenty of great potential in the whole bubbly space rock, but the dynamic level never really elevates except on the last track.

Review by Modrigue
4 stars Ethnic OZRIC

First studio album from HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, "Symbiosis" is in continuity with their free debut EP and confirms the band's talents. The musical style is still mainly inspired by OZRIC TENTACLES and, to a lesser extent, GONG: an ambient psychedelic / space rock jungle, but in a softer, folkier manner than their british elder brothers. The compositions are rather homogeneous, do not contain any vocals and feature numerous various instruments.

For example, the opening track, "Terra Hidria" has some middle-eastern touches, while the short ambient transition "Reversion" introduces "Kaneh Bosm", an electronic piece with indian sitar. The dark "Kaikados" alternates agressive and acoustic passages, whereas "Nasha Universo" is softer with its flute incursions. Back to middle-eastern lands with "Jahwarp", maybe a bit too lengthy and repetitive. "Agents Entropos" possesses a catchy hypnotic bass line, and "I- Mantra" could stand for a lost OZRICs tune. The last and longest track, "Pangaia", also sounds like their elder british brothers, however displaying a more vaporous and mystical atmosphere.

"Symbiosis" is a consistant first album, propelling the finnish band to the front of the modern space rock scene. The musical style and quality of the compositions are constant, while the ambiance and the inspiration are present. A good record to start with, and which should please all OZRIC TENTACLES or GONG fans. The succession is insured.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Often compared to the psychedelic space rock sounds of Ozric Tentacles and Kingston Wall, the Finnish band HIDRIA SPACEFOLK indeed adopted those respective bands' hypnotic strolls down the psychedelic and progressive rock highway and created their own unique brand of spiritually uplifting and transcendental spaced out rock based music. This band was formed in Lohja, Finland where a group of psychedelia seeking musicians forged their own sound out of Ozric Tentacle type grooves, Steve Hillage guitar echoes and energetic bass grooves however what sets this band apart from its influences is its liberal use of its homegrown Scandinavian folk music.

While the Ozrics relied on a lot of reggae for its canvas on which to paint a more surreal and psychedelic rock style, HIDRIA SPACEFOLK added more classical and ethnic instrumentation in the lines of cellos, violins, flutes, marimba, mandolin, sitar, jawharp, vibraphone and even a didgeridoo. Dressed up in folky flavors that merge with high energy bass driven rock with swirling Hawkwind styled synth and Gong tinged space whispers, HIDRIA SPACEFOLK fancies its own musical style with the term Astro-Beat which isn't a bad descriptor for this electronica meets rock meets folk fusion-fest of danceability. SYMBIOSIS, the band's debut album consisted of five main members that cranked out guitar, bass, drums and the synthesizers along with some extra sounds like the accordion, sitar and mandolin along with five guest musicians that added the strings as well as the lone vocal performer on board from the feminine charm of Sabrina who only delivers wordless utterances.

As far as the Ozric references go, it's certainly a major staple of this band's overall sound as they churn out one hypnotic high energy groove after another in a similar fashion however it's the extras that really give SYMBIOSIS its charm. The double guitar attacks meander all over the place ranging from funk and space rock to even bluesy solos however its the presence of the flute and vocals that keep this rooted in some sort of modern take on Scandinavian folklore with references to some of the region's prog acts of the 70s. While the incessant bass groove and subordinate percussive drive provides the mesmerizing backbone of the band's style, the synthesizers and guitars slink around all over the place with the relative freedom to do whatever they want. The intros often usher in some folk references before the more incessant grooves burst on to the scene.

Some tracks stand out more than others. 'Jahwarp' for example takes on some jazz-rock features with a stellar vibraphone presence and a syncopated piano roll a la Scott Joplin but not quite ragtime, that is before the heavier guitar trades off and the two styles alternate. The overall effect is sort of a massive release of bubbles of sound that sometimes gel together and sometimes sound quite separate however the hypnotic bass driven grooves always keep the focus on the ostinato effects and therefore keeps things from spiraling out of control. While very much retro rock from the 90s with some 70s Daevid Allen trippiness thrown in for good measure, HIDRIA SPACEFOLK isn't an album that will dazzle you on a technical level but on the contrary is set for total escapism where you can simply let your mind free and feel the waves of sound roll over you like a day at the beach on some mind altering substance. Perhaps too close to the Ozric sounds for some but for me it works.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A very solid space-rock album, with everything that makes space-rock great. The music melds acoustic with electric and synthesized, Eastern music with Western. Experimental and extremely trippy, with the musical chops to back it up. It sounds almost like a lost Ozrics album with the swirling sy ... (read more)

Report this review (#150823) | Posted by MonkeyphoneAlex | Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think this is their best album. It's not as heavy as their last two albums, and not as structured. It sounds more "organic" to me. Very active drumming, and intense guitars. And the amount of synths is just right for my taste. Kaikados and Nasha Universo (great flute by the way) are very aler ... (read more)

Report this review (#149686) | Posted by symbiosis | Friday, November 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very good space rock from Finland! These guys are clearly very much influenced by the legends of space rock, Ozric Tentacles. The sound is, although there aren't any obvious rip-offs, very similar. But if you like that sort of music, it doesn't matter. To describe Hidria's music a bit more ac ... (read more)

Report this review (#55769) | Posted by | Thursday, November 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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