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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland

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Antti Louhivaara biography
Antti Louhivaara is a Finnish multi-instrumentalist, originally from Hamina, located in eastern Finland. He comes from a musical family where, especially on his father's side, there are numerous musicians, music teachers, etc. Louhivaara himself started violin studies at a music college at the age of 8. He started playing the guitar at the age of 14 and other instruments little by little along with band activities. After the first rock and heavy ensembles, things started to go in a more prog direction, and he started composing his own songs in the late 70s.

At the beginning of the 80s, Louhivaara went to study computer technology and founded a prog band with his fellow students there, which played e.g. in the Finnish Jazz Championship final in 1985. In -88, Louhivaara founded the music store Midiland with his band and student friend, which, as the name suggests, sold everything related to MIDI. During this time, he composed a lot of material that was later released on all three albums released so far.

After the deep recession in Finland in the early 90s, Louhivaara started designing hi-fi speakers. The loudspeakers he designed were thoroughly successful both in Finland and abroad and are today very well known and appreciated among both enthusiasts and professionals worldwide (Amphion, Aurelia).

Louhivaara's most important musical influences have been Gentle Giant, Pekka Pohjola and Dixie Dregs, but also Kansas, Happy the Man and Zappa have significantly influenced his musical expression. And we should not forget Louhivaara's classical background, where Sibelius, Shostakovich and Stravinsky have had a significant influence on his musical development.

----Biography provided by the artist-----

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4.00 | 1 ratings
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3.04 | 4 ratings
My First 44 Years...

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 My First 44 Years... by LOUHIVAARA, ANTTI album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2024
3.04 | 4 ratings

My First 44 Years...
Antti Louhivaara Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It was either JR/F or Eclectic Prog where the Finnish composer and multi-instrumentalist Antti Louhivaara was to be placed. He himself would have preferred the latter, but I agree with the decision made by the teams. Even though this instrumental music, in its rhythmic complexity and regular rock instrumentation, is thoroughly progressive rock, more clearly than it is fusion (and the plain jazz nuances being absent), it's easy to hear the stylistic connections to the jazz/fusion wing of the prog universe. My initial associations included FRANK ZAPPA, PEKKA POHJOLA and at times ROZ VITALIS.

After releasing two digital albums containing pieces that were composed in a long time-line, Louhivaara made his CD debut with this one compiling compositions from both Sinputus (2020) and Karmiekonytisti (2023). All instruments --guitars, bass, keyboards, software, drums -- are played by Louhivaara who's also responsible of producing, recording and mixing. The result is very, very good from the technical point of view. He's among the most convincing one-man bands I know.

Many track titles have witty wordplays that I'm not trying to explain to non-Finnish speakers. With 14 tracks all more or less oriented to nearly ADHD-ishly playful writing style highlighting the complexity and technical ambition, listening to the entire CD through gets rather exhausting. I'm not exactly sure if the best pieces come in the beginning or is it just that my ears and mind are getting tired. 'Sinputus' (the longest one at 8:39) is pretty impressive, and also 'Lirpsutus' has nice dynamics. 'Kaiutus' is a little mellower in comparison, at least partly, and would't be a disgrace at all on Pekka Pohjola's albums of the 80's or 90's.

While I like the fast, Zappa-esque xylophone/vibes parts on 'Leidit Aivan Kiinassa', it's durig this very track (No. 4) that I already begin to feel tired and start to think that this music is a bit too much for the brain and far too little for the heart, if you know what I mean. The waltz-like elements on 'Valssaan ja Poraan' are fairly amusing. 'Kujerrus' contains also a sax-sound in its diverse arrangement. Nevertheless, the further I listen to the CD, the more I start questioning whether I honestly, wholeheartedly enjoy this music. New sonic details keep coming -- for example Eastern influences on percussion in the final piece 'Allihuuppa' -- but the overall approach stays very much the same, ie. very restless, without moments for a rest and in benefit for the emotional dynamics of the whole. There are no truly memorable melodies either. This is why I'm rating this CD in the middle ground.

Thanks to Mirakaze for the artist addition.

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