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KIMMO PÖRSTI

Crossover Prog • Finland


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Kimmo Pörsti biography
Kimmo PÖRSTI (b. 1963) is a Finnish prog musician, mainly drummer, whose bands include MIST SEASON, PAIDARION and THE SAMURAI OF PROG. In the spring of 2020 he released a solo effort Wayfarer which contains some symphonic prog tendencies and features an international cast in the style of The Samurai Of Prog. He has also been active in the Finnish prog society Colossus and is featured, both as a musician and as a producer, on many of its multi-national releases. One can say that Pörsti's first solo album was Ihmeellinen iltapäivä (1997) which was released under the moniker of MAAHINEN (= Hobgoblin). That album varies between jazzy instrumentals and vocal-oriented songs. Like Wayfarer, it contains compositions from both Pörsti and several collaborators.

In 1986 Pörsti's band Minea won a Star Chase contest and a record deal. However, things fell apart afterwards: the record company went bankcrupt and the band collapsed. In 2004 Kimmo Pörsti founded his own record company Seacrest, initially in order to publish the music of then active Mist Season. Seacrest has published albums of all the artists mentioned above, plus foreign prog artists such as Robert Webb, Yesterdays and The Cosmic Remedy. In recent years Pörsti has been very productive especially with The Samurai Of Prog (the core of which is Pörsti, Italian-born bassist Marco Bernard and American Steve Unruh). Pörsti and his record company fight against the digitalization of the music industry. Instead of being available on Spotify, the albums are graced with fine artwork and lavish booklets.

Kimmo Pörsti's favourite artists include Genesis (the 70's), Yes, Supertramp and David Hines. For him, the main essence of progressive rock is provoking emotions, images and thoughts. "A good composition is central, and an arrangement from which one can find new details in each listening. But if the song is not good, no virtuosity can save it", Pörsti says in an interview. As a day job he works as a jurist in an insurance company. "Music is a perfect counterbalance for work. It's almost like drug that makes you lose the track of time."

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KIMMO PÖRSTI discography


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KIMMO PÖRSTI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
Ihmeellinen iltapäivä (as Maahinen)
1997
4.03 | 9 ratings
Wayfarer
2020

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KIMMO PÖRSTI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wayfarer by PÖRSTI, KIMMO album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.03 | 9 ratings

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Wayfarer
Kimmo Pörsti Crossover Prog

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Wonderful solo album for one of the most hardworking and inspired musicians in the prog business-Mr Kimmo Porsty,the drummer of THE SAMURAI OF PROG-the brilliant multinational band which delivers album after album,sensational music to the delight of good music lovers!This album is something special,it's a magnificent piece of true art,loaded with excellent compositions,performed by true pros and the final result is outstanding!The folk elements of the Finnish music are making even more exceptional this album!The voices are perfect and the whole album,even being of more then 70 minutes,offers only a great collection of superbe music,an invitation to a great and catchy musical journey!Excellent production too,great balance between the compositions and the guarantee that each audition brings something new to all good music lovers which are willing to discover something beautiful,emotional and great! The instrumental tracks-6-are perfectly well included and are giving a nice colour for the album in terms of soundscapes and emotions-it's world music,it's folk music,it's progressive music....,it's beautiful music ! The passion of the vocalists are impressive,the magic of this music makes the ones who are listening to take part to something unique and beautiful-an escape in another musical dimension! 4.5 stars for a great album and all our respect and appreciation to a great musician of our days!
 Ihmeellinen iltapäivä (as Maahinen) by PÖRSTI, KIMMO album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Ihmeellinen iltapäivä (as Maahinen)
Kimmo Pörsti Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Kimmo Pörsti, the core member of The Samurai Of Prog, released his progressive solo album Wayfarer recently (see my review from last week). His first solo effort was this 23 years old, Finnish-language album bearing the artist name Maahinen, which means something like Hobgoblin. In fact this isn't a prog album and I guess it's an obscurity nowadays. But nevertheless it gives an insight into Kimmo's development as a producer, composer and musician collaborating with others (whether as a leader or a participant).

To sum it up, the 15 tracks of Ihmeellinen iltapäivä (= Miraculous Afternoon) are either vocal songs of mostly light and jazzy nature (ie. not much to do with rock, although they're definitely not entertainment vocal music either!), or instrumentals that have some resemblance to then-future band MIST SEASON. Generally I prefer the instrumentals. Not that the songs were bad at all, but compared to some of my favourites in the lyric-oriented vocal music ("laulelmamusiikki" in Finnish) and its fine artists such as Anneli Saaristo, Susanna Haavisto etc., these songs are less memorable and some of them a bit too joyful to my taste. They are all sung in Finnish, by male and female singers that I wasn't familiar with. Some of the songs are quite pretty nevertheless, and the arrangements featuring various acoustic instruments are well done. The compositions are either by Kimmo himself or by his collaborators. The most serene of Kimmo's vocal compositions have resemblance to the songs he has composed to prog band PAIDARION's more vocal-oriented debut album Hauras Silta.

As I said, especially the instrumentals point the way to the jazz-oriented Mist Season. The flute is often heard, here and there also violin, saxophones are heard. Nice if rather uneven album, but not necessary for the prog-oriented followers of Kimmo Pörsti's career.

 Wayfarer by PÖRSTI, KIMMO album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.03 | 9 ratings

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Wayfarer
Kimmo Pörsti Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Wayfarer is a solo album by the Finnish drummer and producer Kimmo P'rsti, who's perhaps best known from THE SAMURAI OF PROG (hopefully some of you are also aware of the jazzier instrumental act MIST SEASON and the poppier prog band PAIDARION). His first solo effort was released as Maahinen in 1997, but it's not exactly a prog album. Wayfarer is a fine continuation of all things Kimmo has done with TSOP and his other bands. I think the best comparison would be Two Worlds Encounter (2016) which was credited to "Paidarion Finlandia Project" and featured several international guests such as vocalists Jenny Darren and Kev Moore who appear also here. And the large international cast of prog-oriented musicians on this album is of course a logical continuation of the marvelous TSOP tradition, if on a slightly smaller scale, obviously.

The 73-minute, beautifully packaged album starts with 'Arrival', one of Kimmo's own compositions. 'Heaven's Gate' is a gorgeous, slightly Camel-like instrumental written by Jose Manuel Medina from Spain. 'Creer Crecer' and 'Cruz del Sur' composed by Jaime Rosas and sung by Rodrigo Codoy were originally made for the Colossus' conceptual sets Decameron II and Paradiso, respectively. Other composing collaborators include Rafael Pacha and Finnish multi- instrumentalist Jari Riitala. Unless one deals with each 13 tracks in detail (which I choose not to do), it would be exhausting and in the end a bit pointless to give credit to all fine musicians featured on this album! The music has a good deal of stylistic variety: for example some folky elements here and the grandiosity of symphonic prog there. The production is excellent but that comes as no surprise if you're familiar with TSOP or Paidarion.

Despite the diversity and the wide cast of composers and collaborators, Wayfarer succeeds to be pretty coherent album. The release feels in every way a true labour of love, full of sincere spirit and emotion. Six of the 13 tracks are instrumentals, some of them very elegant and beautiful especially when flute is involved. The album's only female vocalist Jenny Darren is featured on three songs: 'Wayfarer' and 'Icy Storm' are mellow pieces not so far from the style of Paidarion's debut album Hauras silta.

I hate to say this, but actually there is one track I rather skip, 'This Day Is Yours', because I really don't like Kev Moore's stuffy voice. All in all Wayfarer is a beautiful, easily enjoyed album, warmly recommended to the fans of TSOP, despite this effort being less symphonic. But definitely no less inspired, and it's really great to witness Kimmo's skills in composing more than is possible within the TSOP context.

Thanks to Matti for the artist addition.

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