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MESS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Estonia


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Mess biography
True prog pioneers in Estonia, MESS were formed in 1974 around keyboard guru Sven Grünberg and master of electronics Härmo Härm (ex-POSITRON). With the help of a drummer, bassist and guitarist as well as artist Kaarel Kurismaa who provided ingenious stage designs full of props and intricate lightshows, MESS turned their every gig into a sonic and visual experience not to be missed. They were eventually joined on percussion by RUJA's founding member Andrus Vaht as well as by a host of musicians contributing oboe, French horn and church organ; even world famous Tõnu Kaljuste lent his choir to add flavour to their music.

The situation under the Soviet occupation at the time not permitting the release of recorded material, the band gigged well into 1977 without officially releasing an album. In fact, their music was thought to be lost until German label Bella Musica found and released a collection of their pieces in 1995, which keyboardist Grünberg himself remastered and edited. Unfortunately, the editing is extensive, the mix shakey and the sound quality rather poor, but the music is unbelievable, the playing fabulous and the synthesizer sounds simply out of this world. It must be stated that Härmo Härm then created his own analog synths and other electronic devices with results that would no doubt have astounded Mr. Robert Moog himself.

Highly recommended to fans of keyboard-driven space prog such as KLAUS SCHULZE, TANGERINE DREAM, JEAN-MICHEL JARRE and the likes.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Pretty UglyPretty Ugly
Last Beat Records 1997
Audio CD$24.90
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MESS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.18 | 12 ratings
Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group
1995
3.66 | 10 ratings
Küsi Eneselt
2004

MESS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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MESS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Küsi Eneselt by MESS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.66 | 10 ratings

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Küsi Eneselt
Mess Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Estonian band MESS was the creative vehicle of composer and instrumentalist Sven Grunberg (who has a few official solo releases). The band was formed back in 1974 and disbanded two years later, never releasing any albums while active. They did record some radio sessions however, and an edited collection of those was issued on CD back in 1995. "Kusi Eneselt" from 2004 is, as I understand it, an unedited, remastered version of those sessions, issued as a single CD and as a limited edition double CD that also features rare live recordings of the band.

The sole CD of the Estonian act Mess is a fine production that should find favor amongst many avid fans of 70's progressive rock as long as their tastes aren't limited to one specific expression. A subpar recording quality might not be to everybody's taste, but as long as you don't have a problem with that "Kusi Eneselt" should be a fine addition to your collection.

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 Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group by MESS album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.18 | 12 ratings

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Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group
Mess Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Estonian prog legends Mess were guided since 1974 by keyboard wizard Sven Grünberg and electronics' master Härmo Härm.The classic mid-70s line-up featured also bassist Matti Timmermann, drummer Ivar Sipra, and guitarist Elmu Värk.Mess were a pioneer of groundbreaking rock music in the ex-Soviet Union around the time, offering lives full of lightshows.Like many other Soviet bands though they had not the chance to transmit this experience into full recordings.In 1995 the German label Bella Music released a CD under the name ''Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group Mess'' with recordings between 1974-1977, edite by Grünberg himself.

The music of the band is absolutely intricate and I can see why they are regarded as legends of Progressive/Art Rock back in their homecountry.Despite having a mediocre production the album shows a band with a very rich sound, mixing Electronic/Space Rock with romantic Symphonic Rock and light Fusion, a cross reference between TANGERINE DREAM, THE ENID, CAMEL and FOCUS,a beautiful combination indeed.The compositions change radically from analog Electronic soundscapes to symphonic orchestrations with great organ and some fascinating guitar work by Värk, not unlike the style of ANDY LATIMER or JAN AKKERMANN.Grünberg's performance on organ is inspired and careful on the symphonic parts and more aggresive but again delicate on the more Fusion-edged ones.His vocals are also good and no doubt the Estonian language sounds a lot like Swedish or Norwegian.What was actually the band's real hot point is to deliver their sound from this spacey Electronic dimension produced by Härm to a very rich and unbelievably grandiose Symphonic Rock with superb guitars and haunting synths.''Lugu'' is definitely a masterpiece and maybe the best example of this particular and unique inspiration.

These recordings from the vaults proove what was rumored about Mess being a very personal and extra-ordinary band among the Soviet music products.Moreover the diversity of their sound is sure to please fans of different tastes.All compositions are great and the album comes highly recommended to all fans of cinematic Progressive Rock with a nice sense of atmosphere.Excellent.

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 Küsi Eneselt by MESS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.66 | 10 ratings

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Küsi Eneselt
Mess Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by João Paulo

5 stars Amazing work of this Estonian band. Sven Grunberg in this better. I by a double cd in carboard sleeve when second cd is a live record of some very important moments of this band. First cd show us some psichedelic space moments of keiboards and a very good guitar moments that we can remember some Floydian atmosphere. The voice is a complement of good moments of this work. Very balanced and very good work in space moments. We can find Pink Floyd moments, SBB moments and Camel moments specialy in some bass parts. This record made in 70 years is remasterd in 1995 and relase in 2004. We have Psichedelic Space rock parts and some rare jazz moments. very inspired work of this band and specialy of Sven Grunberg that made, to me, a masterpiece of old Russian Progressive music that it's very important in East Progressive world. Very hard to find, the two Mess albuns but it's a excellent work. 5 Stars of course.

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 Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group by MESS album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.18 | 12 ratings

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Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group
Mess Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Paul Stump

5 stars Now here is something very weird indeed. We all know the history - what's the music like? Nothing on earth, unless you know Soviet rock, which always synthesised pirated western tunes and arrangements and never got it quite right and unintentionally produced prog masterworks like Edward Artemiev's Warmth of Earth. This is similar - I think Grunberg is playing an EMS Synthi like that modified and used by Artemiev.

think Focus, and very atmospheric Moraz-era Yes, with lots of odd-sounding electronics. After that, I can't help you. But all prog fans should hear this one.

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 Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group by MESS album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.18 | 12 ratings

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Sven Grünberg's Proge-Rock Group
Mess Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Melos

4 stars Mess was formed in January 1974 featuring the interesting electronic devices and lots of analogical keyboards played by Estonian master Sven Grünberg. The other band's musicians were excellent and the result is a great and unique synthesised and electronic and spacey sound, mixed with delicious prog tunes, released in 1976. Quite enjoyable.

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