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Harri Kuusijärvi Koutus picture
Harri Kuusijärvi Koutus biography
A Finnish rock project HARRI KUUSIJÄRVI KOUTUS have been founded by an accordionist Harri KUUSIJÄRVI. As a sort of musical collective around Harri playing his compositions with different lineups and flexible formations - accordion, electric guitar, vibraphone, bass, percussion, or electronics - they have created distinctive soundscape with taste of 70s progressive rock, jazz, world music fueled with improvisation ... described as "avant-fusion-accordion-jazz". Their debut album "Koutus" was launched in 2014 as their first "musical crystal".

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4.00 | 2 ratings
Music For A Family Picnic

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Music For A Family Picnic by KUUSIJÄRVI KOUTUS, HARRI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

Music For A Family Picnic
Harri Kuusijärvi Koutus RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars A mosaic of sound, let me say.

A promising Finnish rock combo founded by an accordionist Harri KUUSIJÄRVI have launched the second album titled "Music For A Family Picnic" in February 2017. Harri says he (maybe) always changes the combo formation for creating soundscape different from previous ones ... his musical collective would be amorphous for realization of music-spherical diversity.

Kinda indescribable chamber soundscape filled with mysterious accordion-based cotton candy is flowing over the audience. Their (his) sound texture and melody lines are walking around between realism and ambience like a creature of fancy. On another side we can hear monotonous, inorganic cold grey turf. Quite interesting, impressive is such an excessive sound contrast and complete coexistence.

The titled track is a colourful one ... drenched in cynical identity against pop but simple melody threads wound upon a song spool, no difficulty, no shoulder pain. And as for progressive rock-oriented atmosphere, a track with a meaningful (and looong) appearance "I Was Driving 160 Miles Per Hour From Turku In The Midnight When I Felt The Time Was Slowing Down" has definitely heavy / metallic elements of King Crimson or psychic ones of Pink Floyd.

Harri's accordion play sometimes stands up at the very front and sometimes sits down behind the all instruments. He can be mentioned as the forward and as the goalkeeper ... namely the key player. Awesome really.

 Music For A Family Picnic by KUUSIJÄRVI KOUTUS, HARRI album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

Music For A Family Picnic
Harri Kuusijärvi Koutus RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Here's the latest Finnish artist addition. The eponymous 2014 release was a trio effort in which the accordeon player and composer Harri Kuusijärvi (b. 1986) was accompanied by electric guitarist Veikki Virkajärvi and drummer Tatu Rönkkö. That album featured rather steep dichotomy between avant-oriented angularity -- to some degree comparable to the music of the other Finnish alternative accordeon artist Kimmo Pohjonen -- and mellower pieces, and it was inspired by wild Lappish landscapes. I wasn't notably impressed by it, and although this second release will hardly become my favourite listening either, I do find this one more mature... and above all, warmer and less bipolarized in style, and thus more accessible to also those jazz/fusion-minded listeners who aren't much into avant prog.

The line-up is a little bigger this time, featuring the same guitarist and a new rhythm section plus Teho Majamäki on vibes and effects, on most tracks anyway. I only wish the vibes were more heard on the album, but already the addition of bass means an important improvement in the sound. The opener 'Naltio' (don't ask me what it means) centres on a hypnotic, circulating accordeon riff and slightly industrial or Post-Rock sounding playing from the others. The title track is a slow and relaxed jazz piece in which accordeon is used very melodically. 'La Route de Pokka' is an excellent, crisp and guitar-oriented fusion piece, a little marred by (most likely an artificial) bird-whistle. The vibes are more central on slow and moody 'UFO Bar'.

All nine tracks are enjoyable, not very avantish really, but nor without brave dynamics and sonic variety. As with Sanni Eskelinen & Stringpurée Band (Finnish kantele-led band, also to be found in PA), all in all this music would more naturally be categorized under jazz instead of rock. A librarian's point of view, you see. Warmly recommended to anyone appreciating the sound of accordeon.

Thanks to koutus & DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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