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IN SPE

Symphonic Prog • Estonia


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In Spe biography
In Spe has an interesting story. It is essentially two different, high-quality, bands. Both versions reflecting the vision of an enigmatic leader. The first incarnation was founded by Erkki-Sven Tüür, who has gone on to be be one of the top classical composers in the world. He set out to create music called chamber rock (sound familliar?). With the help of drummer Arvo Urb, guitarist Riho Sibul, keyboardist Mart Metsala, bass player Toivo Kopli, Flautist Peeter Brambat, and his wife Anne Tüür on piano, the first band was formed.

The band played gigs, and recorded, all the while building a stellar reputation. In 1983 they released the highly acclaimed, yet rare, self-titled debut. This, along with their existing notoriety, would form the basis of them being seen as the godfathers of Estonian prog. Some refer to it as one of the best prog recordings of all time. Being largely instrumental was a blessing in disguise. It didn't have as much trouble getting by Soviet censors as vocal recordings of the time. Still, only 3000 copies were made.

The band would take a drastic turn near the end of 1983, as Tüür left to study music full time. Enter keyboardist, and music student, Alo Mattiisen. His jazzy style would change the direction of the band, but not diminish the quality. Under his leadership they released anther album (also self-titled), featuring the eclectic "Typewriter Concerto in D." The piece actually uses a manual typewriter as a percussion instrument. This album enjoyed a much larger distribution than its predecessor. Which also led to some confusion. People who had heard the tales of the first release, were faced with something quite different.

Mattiisen rose to become a national hero, by writing music for Estonia's Singing Revolution.

The recordings are available, but still rare. The 1994 Musea release of the second album is said to be of poor quality. In 1999 the first album was released on CD, and some of Mattiisen's rock operas (performed by In Spe) were released in 2000.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

In Spe official website

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Typewriter Concerto in D MajorTypewriter Concerto in D Major
Import
Musea Records France 2006
Audio CD$18.49
$18.49 (used)
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BM DUBS PRESENTS MR RUMBLE Whoomp There It Is CD 1 Track Radio Edit Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 1 day
BEAUTIFUL SOUTH How Long's A Tear Take To Dry CD 2 Track Radio Edit Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 1 day
ALMIGHTY Jonestown Mind CD 3 Track Promo B/w Therapy Remix And Ruts Remix In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 1 day
ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT Dart For My Sweet Heart CD 3 Track Radio Edit Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 1 day
BUFFALO G We're Really Saying Something 12" 4 Track Motiv 8 Remixes Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
ESKIMOS AND EGYPT Home 12" 4 Track Serial Diva Coming Home Club Mix Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
LANTERNS Winter In My Heart 12" 2 Track Todd Terry Tee's Freeze Mix Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
MAXI PRIEST Human Work Of Art 12" 3 Track John Gallens Extended Mix Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
LLOYD COLE AND THE COMMOTIONS She's A Girl And I'm A Man CD 1 Track Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
MARTIN GRECH Open Heart Zoo CD 2 Track Radio Edit Promo B/w Album Version In Spe USD $9.31 Buy It Now 2 days
NOMADS/INSANIA STHLM Up Tight/sunrise In Riverland CD 6 Track Split Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
RACHEL MARI KIMBER Life Changes Everything Album Sampler CD 4 Track Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 2 days
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT Body Bumpin' Yippie Yi Yo CD 1 Track Radio Edit Promo In Spe USD $8.15 Buy It Now 6 days
AUTOGRAPH S/T RUSSIAN MELODIA KEYBOAD PROG LP IN SPE KASEKE USSR USD $19.88 Buy It Now 21 days
IN SPE CONCERTO FOR TYPEWRITER SOVIET ESTONIAN CHAMBER PROGRESSIVE ROCK RARE LP! USD $18.69 Buy It Now 23 days
Forestier/Reichel - Messe In Spe Unitatis [CD New] USD $20.68 Buy It Now 25 days
Messe In Spe Unitatis - Forestier/Reichel (2001, CD New) USD $20.59 Buy It Now 25 days
Messe in Spe Unitatis - Forestier/Reichel New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shippi USD $26.31 Buy It Now 29 days


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IN SPE discography


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3.62 | 25 ratings
In Spe
1983
2.14 | 12 ratings
Typewriter Concerto in D
1984

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IN SPE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Spe by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.62 | 25 ratings

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In Spe
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I will make this review short and sweet,.

Prog rock (especially symphonic prog rock) is often defined in a very off the cuff manner as a cross-pollination between rock music and classical music. Yet, when we examine the music more closely, it is clear that the rock side nearly always dominates. I can think of only a few Zeuhl albums where this is not true.

And it is not true for In Spe's first album. Which is not to say that there aren't some delightful light rock passages throughout this album, But what we have here is a wonderfully classically influenced album that entertains us with it's restrained classical sensibility. Four and a half stars from me.

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 In Spe by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.62 | 25 ratings

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In Spe
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars In Spe was the brainchild of today famous Estonia composer Erkki-Sven Tuur.He found the band in Talinn back in 1979, when he was still an unknown student.He brought together his wife Anne on piano along with drummer Arvo Urb, guitarist Riho Sibul, flautist Peeter Brambat, keyboardist Mart Metsala, and bassist Toivo Kopli.Sibul, after he left to join Kaseke, was replaced for a while by Ruja's Jaanus Nogisto, but soon returned to play for both bands simultaneously.After plenty of gigs In Spe released their self-titled LP in 1983 on Melodyia, featuring compositions arranged by Tuur between 1979 and 1981.

The whole first side of the LP is dedicated to Tuur's most ambitious composition, the 20- min. opus Sümfoonia seitsmele esitajale (''Symphony for Seven Performers'').The first part ''Ostium'' is a great piece of Electronic/Symphonic Rock with superb synth layers and melodic guitars dominating, followed by its longest part ''Illuminatio'', an arrangement for piano, synthesizers and flute for most of its part, mixing nicely Cosmic Folk with Electronic and Classical Music.''Mare vitreum'' will close the suite blending both styles.Flute-driven Folk with melodic yet energetic Symphonic Rock based on Sibul's excellent guitar playing and the dreamy synthesizers and organ of Tuur.One amazing piece of diverse contemporary Symphonic/Folk Rock.

The flipside kicks off with ''Antidolorosum'', an obscure piece with a FRIPP-ian guitar intro, good vocals along the way and finally Tuur shining with his floating synths and organ.The long ''Päikesevene'' starts with a flute-based dissonance to become more groovy on the way with some fine Fusion-esque guitars and after the middle it is Tuur's moment.His grandiose synthesizers shine, interplaying with Sibul's guitars in some sort of Electronic/Fusion style.The closing ''Sfaaride voitlus'' is another great cosmic experience.The dreamy opening notes with flutes and synths will burst after the middle to an excellent guitar/keyboard-based battle before closing again in a Cosmic Electronic style.

To say that this man would become a great composer listening to his compositions is today an excess.Possibly the greatest prog release to come out of Estonia and a stunning experience of Symphonic/Folk/Electronic musicianship.Essential and very original- sounding addition for any collection.

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 Typewriter Concerto in D by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.14 | 12 ratings

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Typewriter Concerto in D
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars In Spe was a cult musical project during 80-s in Estonia. They released just two albums, both with different leaders and quite different music included. Common base between two works was their experimentation trying to melt neo-classic and rock.

This, second album, is recorded by band, led by music student, keyboardist Aloe Mattiisen. Differently from their debut, this work contains similar components, but in much more easier form, often with "musical joke' elements. Real mechanical typewriter is used as drumming instrument, and all other music is melodic symphonic prog ( with some jazzy bass) and neo-classic pieces in 50/50 proportion.

Quite interesting idea and some very competent musicianship is destroyed in part by two reasons: pure producing and recording quality and very bad mixing. In fact, you can imagine whole recording as roughly fixed between each other quite independent pieces of electric guitar/bass based jazz-rock pieces, keyboards-led symphonic rock pieces and some modern classic chamber pieces. Almost without any connection between each other. And with very plain, uninspired total sounding.

So, this album could be evaluated as rehearsal of very interesting, but raw material, demo tape,etc. And possibly ,its better place is avant prog, not symphonic. I own quite rare LP version, so am not sure, if later CD release has any sound improvement.

In whole, album for collectors and researchers, but hardly for symphonic prog regular fans.

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 In Spe by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.62 | 25 ratings

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In Spe
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by ExittheLemming
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The Singing Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Given the tumultuous upheaval and conflicts that have scarred and forged the Baltic states into their present democratic forms, we really should never lose sight of the context within which their artistic efforts in the prog domain are realised. Having said that, I am more than happy to forgive dodgy sound quality, a little amateurishness and a LOT of lack of formal training.

However, I am not going to forgive this.

Right, secure the ornaments....no wait, dust off your fluffy slippers and break open a bottle of Dexedrine because here comes In Spe. From the badlands of Estonia, this street gang of insurance clerks would have great difficulty even getting arrested for possession of tumbleweed. It must be frustrating for progressively minded musos from Estonia when your most famous export consists of IKEA coffee table spirituality from Arvo Part. Despite this handicap, In Spe do at least possess a fine set of chops and sound eminently accomplished as both players and writers of decent but pedestrian classically infused 'rawk'

My litany of niggles about this record centre around the following:

The delightfully named Arvo Urb on drums does inject some inspired and entertaining fills on occasion but otherwise, contents himself to sound uncannily like a very dull tub thumping 80's drum machine.

The flute and recorder certainly contribute an attractive folky medieval atmosphere and texture to proceedings but both Brambat and Tuur are guilty of betraying their origins as rather stiff classical players treading unconvincingly for the first time into the dirty longhair realm of 'rawk'

Anyone who sees '1983' on an album sleeve should know by now that there is a very high likelihood of the presence of sterile digital keyboard presets being hurled with abandon from your speakers. These bland and brittle timbres only serve to fill the vast swathes of air preserved for posterity on this anodyne recording. Curiously enough, the CD liner notes would flatly contradict this by indicating only the presence of those analogue beasties i.e. Phrophets, Moogs and Jupiters. Shame really, as apart from the sheer unbridled conservatism on show, the playing itself is beyond reproach. Is it perhaps just the production that makes this recording sound so flat and unsatisfying?

What exactly does Mr Priit Kuulberg do with his 'Digital Normalizer' listed on the cover? does he pluck it, hit it, blow it or perhaps all three....? Is this the curse of the binary gremlin that flattens out all the natural peaks and troughs in a live performance prior to being transferred to CD?

Riho Sibul clearly graduated from the Waters/Clapton/Santana school of Highly Strung Arts, and takes sadistic delight in regaling us with many interminable exercises in tone and sustain that only readers of twang mags give a flying plectrum about. (Check out the cabinet and amp configuration on this one dude and get a load of that quarter tone sharp bend, sweet...) Yep, I do seem to have an innate aversion to guitarists who spend way too much time at the 'dusty end' of their instrument.

The thematic ideas and development thereof are effortlessly and seamlessly negotiated but I cannot remember a single melodic fragment from the entire CD even after 20 unwelcome spins. Much of this is borderline 'new age' (and what a misnomer that term is to be sure, that fondant goo so beloved of cherubic tattooed pensioners in their 30's)

It's all just too polite and nice DAMMIT, like a pet project the denim shirted liberal arts teacher at school devised to turn the kids on to culture. Like sensible shoes and just one beer, no-one is remotely interested in conservative rebellion even if your name is an anagram of PENIS.

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 Typewriter Concerto in D by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.14 | 12 ratings

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Typewriter Concerto in D
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars This album starts and ends with digital keyboard noodling, and there really isn’t much else in between. The addition of a manual typewriter as an orchestral instrument might have seemed clever at the time, but in retrospect it just comes off as silly.

In Spe are one of the only (if not the only) symphonic rock band to come out of the tiny country of Estonia, and for that they deserve some attention I suppose. But try as I might I can’t get interested in this album. The poor production doesn’t help, nor does the naggingly persistent typewriter throughout the entire first-half concerto piece. On top of that the featured French horn on the second half of the album did seem like a worthwhile novelty for the first few minutes, but its presence on the interminably long closing track “Departure” borders on being ponderous.

The only reason this record should be considered in the progressive rock category is due to the use of electric guitar, and possibly because of the occasional use of drums. Otherwise I’d say this is nothing more than a curiosity from the mid-eighties, which was a notoriously poor time for music anyway. This album is no exception.

I’d recommend this to fans of really obscure symphonic rock possibly, but beyond that I suspect only Estonians will really find anything to appreciate here. For those reasons I’m going to give the album two stars, but nothing more. ‘Nuff said.

peace

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 In Spe by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.62 | 25 ratings

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In Spe
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by betawave31

4 stars I came across this recording by chance and I must admit I knew who Erkki was prior to realizing he was the mastermind behind this beautiful project. I came across Erkki's name while listening to a show here in the US called Hearts of Space. He is know primarily a classical composer but with definitive Estonian flavor. The In Spe album I am reviewing is the debut. Its filled with lovely dynamics, floating melodies and a classical renaissance flavor with its use of the recorder as a main melodic vessel. The music drifts along with nice supprt from all band members each one adding their own brushstrokes to the overall canvas of sound. There is a slight elememt of that classic late 1970's progressive rock sound in the Minimoog solos and tasteful use of electric guitar punctuations. I will point out this although people pigeonhole this as prog rock I think has more of a sound track feel and almost at time meditative quality as it is NOT as bombastic as many other bands in the genre. If you enjoy the lighter side of Jade Warrior, Renasisance,Terry Riley and early IQ without the lyric content then this is the album for you. Very well recorded with a good sense of dynamics and melodic structure.

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 In Spe by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.62 | 25 ratings

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In Spe
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars I hope this album from 1982 enjoys a classic status at least in its home country Estonia. The composer Erkki-Sven Tüür has later been active in classical music's field (though he's not as 'big name' as especially Arvo Pärt). This is a "Symphony for seven performers" - but there are actually eight players. Or maybe the one with 'digital normalizer, roland vocoder' is not counted as there are even two players handling synths, the other being Erkki-Sven himself who also sings the only part with vocals ('Antidolorosum' is based on a fine metaphysical poem by an Estonian poet).

My first listening started very positively - thinking even the possibility of five stars - and turned into a slight disappointment in the last two tracks, but on the second round they too sounded better. As a little minus I'd say many tracks could be shorter without losing anything crucial, as the musical themes are given plenty of time, but it never really comes into a level of boredom so it's not a notable minus. The music is very sophisticated instrumental art rock; flutes and synths have central roles. As the music is never plainly in the rock category, it is difficult to name bands for comparison. Mike Oldfield's Incantations sound a bit similar as the first tracks. With synths like mini moog and Prophet 5, it's at times a cross between 70's Camel and Tangerine Dream. Anyway, its is GOOD music for the mind's eye. I bet you don't often find a great prog album with Estonian vocals! ;)

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 Typewriter Concerto in D by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.14 | 12 ratings

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Typewriter Concerto in D
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by progmonster
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Another boring release by Musea... Not a good start for a review but nontheless the second In Spe album is full of qualities. It's just so badly produced. It's not about the way it is recorded, but more about the choice of sound. Mattiisen has the talent of a contemporary composer, the skill and the ideas. We will say never enough how much wrong electronic facilities can spoil down any kind of music. One advise : Alo should find the time to write down the score for a large classic ensemble or a cello quartet and then go and record with them. His music would - at last - have the recognition it deserves. The really moody "Departure" escapes from this critic, as it stands well on its two legs. A very melancholic ans hypnotic feel on this one, very haunting. As presented here, In Spe has enough hooks to please any Finnegan's Wake fans. Thus, less than a hundred people.

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 In Spe by IN SPE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.62 | 25 ratings

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In Spe
In Spe Symphonic Prog

Review by Marcelo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An EXCELLENT album from Estonia. Mostly instrumental symphonic rock with magnificent keyboards and delicious flutes, very original and clasically influenced. IN SPE seems to take inspiration from contemporary classical music and local folk, giving an unique touch.

The three parts "Symphony For Seven Performers" is a piece of art where classical, symphonic and folk music are blended through beautiful melodies. "Antidolorosum" is the only sung track, very good indeed, and the two last instrumental pieces are a little bit darker, even majestic, reminding me the ANGLAGARD's sound... but that Swedish fabulous band realised their first album seven years later!

IN SPE debut is another hidden prog pearl. I would give it 4 and 3/4 stars. Highly recommended.

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