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RIO/Avant-Prog • Finland

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Kroko biography
KROKO are an RIO/ Avant group from Finland founded by Petri Hissa, percussion, and Pentti Dassum, bass, in 1999 as an exploratory unit. Later they were joined by Sami Järvinen on percussion and Jussi Ylikoski on bass and released their first studio release "Furia" in 2001. This was followed by a second studio album "Rabia" in 2004 with additional musicians on percussion instruments Bubka Erjossaari and Sami Järvinen.

The group are entirely instrumental and their live performances have often left audiences spellbound as they have been treated to a dissonant aural assault. The sounds range from feedback noise, improv Jazz, ambiance, Avant-garde, to hypertensive percussion, and usually the band improvise extended jams that have a hypnotic ambient effect.

After the first album a foreign tour was arranged but Jussi decided to leave the group to concentrate on his main band, DISCO ENSEMBLE, therefore the tour was abandoned. Pentti Dassum was a guitarist with UHRILAMPAAT, DEEP TURTLE, TRANSKAAKKO from 1996-2007, and has guest featured on guitar and mandolin with ASTRO CAN CARAVAN, played guitar, bass & percussion with SMOKEFISH, and also played bass and slide guitar with COSMO JONES BEAT MACHINE. The prolific musician has played in the bands DOROGA and UMPIO.

The band should appeal to lovers of experimental Avant or noise, along with the likes of RUINS and UNIVERS ZERO.

---AtomicCrimsonRush (Scott Tuffnell)---

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3.05 | 2 ratings
3.00 | 2 ratings

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KROKO Reviews

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 Furia by KROKO album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.05 | 2 ratings

Kroko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Now I'm outside my comfort zone when it comes to prog. Avant-noise is already as a word something I prefer staying away. But since I'm having this ambitious and challenging project dealing with the entire prog history of my country, I want at least to dip my toes on any area of Finnish prog. I have had some positive listenings with non-instrumental avant-groups such as Höyry-kone and Kuha., but Kroko's noisy instrumental stuff is perhaps harder to digest.

So, this is a trio of guitarist, bassist and drummer. Their way of making music seems to be rooted on daring and improvisational playing together, using as little overdubs as possible. Therefor it's only natural that I sense a lot of free jazz spirit in this music. It's full of action and sudden shifts, not very melodic, but nor is it disturbingly chaotic either. Here and there I'm reminded of Larks' Tongues -era KING CRIMSON. And I'm very pleased that many tracks aren't so fast and hectic as on the first hearing one might expect.

Yeah, I'm glad I didn't let the words avant & noise stop me when I borrowed Kroko's two CD's from library. These guys are absolutely gifted musicians and they're totally concentrated in making challenging music without thinking how big audience the will reach. I can recommend this for listeners of edgy instrumental avant-rock with a jazzy approach. There are as many as 18 tracks on this 44-minute album but it feels like it flows quite seamlessly.

 Rabia by KROKO album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.00 | 2 ratings

Kroko RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Rabia" is a studio release from Finland's Avant Garde/ Noise engineers Kroko. An obscure band initially, the band are now accessed more easily on their bandcamp site where the whole album can be enjoyed... or is that endured? I say endured because for most this is not going to fill up a Saturday Night's evening of relaxation. Indeed this cacophony of sound may only just pass as music as it is primarily experimental noise with a ton of percussion and some downright eerie passages of feedback. When I first heard this I was gobsmacked at how off the wall this was. It is a dark journey into extreme improvised drum bytes over ethereal electronics. Somehow it manages to hypnotise with its dissonant soundscapes. Occasionally the drums explode with a fury unheard since Christian Vander was unleashed on Magma's albums. It often sounds as though the sound is cutting out by accident but it is intentional chaos.

The machine gun killer crashes on the opening track Entre Gusanos are ferocious and it builds into the mesmeric Röntgen and the uncomfortable blasts on The Clown with a Smelly Breath and a Brown Nose. Stop De Punk more so passes as music as we hear some guitars and a booming bassline, though it still sounds like an explosion in a music store. After two ridiculously short outbursts less than a minute we are treated to a thrashing piece with Meat-Eating Rednecks and their Idiot Children, that I really got into. It is again all over the place musically but there is a semblance of rhythm though the guitars are off kilter sounding out of tune and are those real chords they are playing?

By the time we get to Burning Soul I am reminded of the more wilder side of King Crimson at first and then it goes into a freak out of the noisiest instrumental cacophony I have heard. It is definitely Avant, perhaps more like Univers Zero, Faust, Ruins or the works of Toby Driver at its most manic. It segues directly into the lengthy Burning Moon that settles into free form improv ambient sounds. The guitars twiddle some distant lost melody while sizzling percussion and jazzy basslines emanate. I adore this sound as one is never sure where the band will move next. It is a departure from anything remotely related to music as we might be used to and the unfriendly nature of the music is its very appeal.

The last tracks are the tranquil ambient Kalma, that floats along with upturned violin sweeps on guitar and definitely has a dreamy effect, especially after the aural assault previously. It feels out of place and even accessible but this is quite a jolt to the listener, and proves the band are good enough to produce pleasant music.

Exorcism and Relief closes the album with a sonically violent drum pattern and loud crashes of doomy guitar to remind us we are still with Kroko. This wake up call has a King Crimson guitar sound and jamming vibe that builds into strong dissonance and gut wrenching distortion reminiscent of Sunn O))). There is an extended percussion piece with experimental sounds as inventive as Bill Bruford's early years. The echoing clinking and clanking is joined by Frippian guitar and a wonderful ominous drone.

Overall I enjoyed being treated to the different side of music with Kroko who dare boldly to venture into exploratory sounds in order to convey new meanings to musical emotions. The music is emotional in that it evokes instantly feelings in the listener, and for some it is definitely going to shock and perhaps irritate with its use of noise and off beat angular rhythms. However, this is far better than the schmaltz and love soaked drivel heard on commercial radio these days and far outweighs a lot of the boring nonsense churned out of the manufactured rock idol universe that has become popular fare. I believe we need groups like Kroko to make us sit up and take notice, and even question the meaning of music and its effect on our senses.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to AtomicCrimsonRush for the last updates

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