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NIMBUS

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Finland


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Nimbus biography
NIMBUS, formerly known as Mafia is a Finnish band, who at 1974 released a psychedelic/space rock album under the name Obus. This album is rare and can no longer be found in record stores. The first record turned out to be the last one of NIMBUS, as they split apart shortly after publishing it. The band was originally formed by cousins Jussi and Matti Jokiranta (bass & drums) and Harri Suilamo (guitar), of whom the latter is an influential composer of classical music. Pasi Saarelma (voice) and Pekka Rautio (organ) soon joined the band. In the year 2007 this band fromt he city, Salo, made a short one gig comeback, where the organ was played by Harri Suilamo's daughter, Sanni Suilamo.

The album, Obus was recorded under a Finnish label, Love Records. 5/6 of the songs were composed by Mr. Suilamo and one by Pekka Rautio. The latter had his brother assist them with the recordings with his violin.

Little is known about NIMBUS, but the one album is a real catch for someone who is interested in the Finnish underground scenery.

Written by Tuomas Renvall (Tampere / Finland)

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

2.61 | 13 ratings
Obus
1973

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Pop-Liisa 8
2016

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NIMBUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NIMBUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NIMBUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pop-Liisa 8 by NIMBUS album cover Live, 2016
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Pop-Liisa 8
Nimbus Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In the years 1972-74 the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) organized a radio-broadcast series of rock and jazz gigs in Liisankatu studio, Helsinki. The shows had an important role in the media landscape because the performing groups usually didn't have any other opportunities to reach larger audiences. For about three years Svart Records have been releasing these live performances on their Pop-Liisa and Jazz-Liisa series. Especially from the progressive rock's point of view the series is of high interest. Some of the short-lived line-ups -- often featuring notable musicians -- didn't even release albums at the time, while the sole studio albums of some other bands such as NIMBUS have become prog collector's items. These Pop/Jazz-Liisa vinyl releases have been paired on CD's, since the lengths are averagely around 38 minutes. Nimbus' gig from January 1974 shares the disc with KALEVALA, July 1973.

Psych/prog band Nimbus caught the attention of Love Records in 1972 and recorded three songs next year. However, the purposed single 'Ode to Eagle' / 'Heretic Fool' was never released. The only album Obus (1974) was sung in Finnish. It was released by the minor and far less prog-oriented Satsanga Records. It was around the time of making the album that Nimbus performed in the Liisankatu studio. The 36-minute set features six songs, the aforementioned songs in English, two album tracks ('Pessimistinen dialogi' and 'Myrskyjen välillä'), excellent instrumental 'Aamumaa' -- which strangely was left out of the brief original album, but is included on the CD release of Obus -- plus GREENSLADE-cover 'Feathered Friends'. All of their own material was composed by guitarist Harri Suilamo.

'Ode to Eagle' is a fine dark-toned song, not very complex one but distinctively belonging to the prog genre. 'Heretic Fool' has a faster tempo and a spicy electric guitar solo. The album tracks are good examples of the band's prog style that can be compared to the early WIGWAM, perhaps a bit also to TABULA RASA. Pekka Rautio's organ adds a nice warmth to the guitar-centred sound, and Pasi Saarelma's vocals function perfectly with the music. 'Feathered Friends' (from the Greenslade debut, 1973) is an interesting choice for a cover performance and they deal with it quite well. Luckily Saarelma doesn't try to imitate Dave Lawson's pretentious singing!

The sonic quality is good. The audience remains silent during the performances but applauds politely after each song. This is an excellent addition to a collection of vintage Finnish prog, especially as a CD when one gets also the Finnish-language gig of Kalevala. Arttu Leppänen's detailed liner notes are in English.

 Obus by NIMBUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.61 | 13 ratings

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Obus
Nimbus Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The CD release of this Finnish prog rarity finally came out last year, very deservedly. After reading the few lines written here about NIMBUS, I had no big expectations of it musically, but it wasn't bad at all. Clearly better than I expected. The CD leaflet also gives a lot of information of the band and its history, but in Finnish only... Nimbus, originally called Mafia, caught the interest of TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI bassist and Love Records producer Måns Groundstroem in 1972, and they made a 10-hour studio session in March 1973, but the session more or less failed. Later Love Records had no time for this minor band from Salo. Demos were succesfully sent to the small, non-prog-oriented label Satsanga Records (the one that later released also HAIKARA's controversial Iso Lintu album). The Finnish-language album Obus was recorded in just three days - and had no much marketing.

Nimbus' music is pure vintage-sounding Finnish prog/psychedelia of the early seventies, though surely not in the high level of TP or Wigwam, and featuring less of jazziness or eclectism. The circumstances weren't very favourable, and despite some warm reception among critics and especially the home area, Nimbus were destined to stay in the margin and to wither away within two years. I believe with the support of Love Records they would have reached much further.

'Ennustus' (= Omen) is a deeply atmospheric and psychedelic song with speech-approaching vocals. On this and some other tracks the keyboard player Pekka Rautio's brother Matti adds his violin to a great effect. The complex melodies and time signatures are even more fascinating in the next song. The band's warm sound with plenty of organ and electric guitar is really nice, and the vocals of Pasi Saarelma are pleasant, comparable to the sentimental vocals of British SPRING (or a cross between Finnish singers Kirka and Petri Pettersson).

Unfortunately the album is only about 33 minutes, and the six songs are quite similar on the long run. They all sound pretty good, but the song-writing - which lacks strong melodies and really memorable highlights - starts to lose its power during the album. The composer is the guitarist Harri Suilamo except for the final song 'Yksinäinen purjehtija' (= Solitary yachtsman) which is written by Pekka Rautio. It's perhaps slightly brighter and livelier in mood.

The CD features two bonus tracks originating from a TV broadcast in January 1974, both written by Suilamo. 'Myrskyjen välillä' (= Between storms) is an average song in the same style, but 'Aamumaa' (= Morning land) is among the best ones. It's a small mystery why it was decided to be left out of the album. The sound quality is a bit poorer on these bonuses, but they are a valuable addition. 3½ stars for the well-done, informative CD edition! On a national scale it could be rounded to four, but internationally three will do.

 Obus by NIMBUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
2.61 | 13 ratings

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Obus
Nimbus Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Nimbus were a mysterious band from Finland who released this sole album, Obus, which is a competently performed but rather forgettable psychedelic release with some influences from the prog of the time - pastoral-era Genesis creeps in a bit here and there, there's the occasional quiet bit in which keyboardist Pekka Rautio plays unaccompanied, and vocalist Pasi Saarelma has an interesting style which seems to draw on the less operatic RPI singers. But the production values are a bit mediocre, to be honest, and there's little in the music that's novel or engaging enough to be worth hunting the album down for.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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