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ELONKORJUU

Heavy Prog • Finland


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Elonkorjuu biography
ELONKORJUU (Finnish for 'harvest') was formed in 1969 in the south-western Finnish town of Pori by the singer and guitarist Jukka Syrenius. In the autumn of 1970 the band were awarded second place in a music contest called Rockin' Suomen Mestaruus (Finnish Championship of Rock Bands).

In the Seventies they released two albums, the first of which, "Harvest Time" (1972), is considered the most expensive Finnish collector's item, commanding a price of ?500-1,000. Their second album, "Flying High, Running Fast" (1978), was released under the English name of HARVEST in the hope of breaking the band on the international market. During those years, ELONKORJUU also performed live all over the country, and were often a feature at major Finnish rock events, such as Pori Jazz and Ruisrock festivals.

Though disbanded in 1978, the band made their comeback in 2003, and the following year released a new album, "Scumbag". This saw a change in the direction of their music, being more in a rock-blues vein. Besides Syrenius, the other original members still with the band are bassist Veli-Pekka Pessi and drummer Pertti Hannus, while keyboardist Jussi Reunamäki joined them after their reformation. ELONKORJUU are still very active on the live music circuit of their native country, often performing to full houses.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Though nearly unknown outside their home country, ELONKORJUU are a very interesting example of early Seventies heavy prog from northern Europe.



Discography:
Harvest Time (1972 - studio album)
Flying High, Running Fast (1978 - studio album)
Scumbag (2004 - studio album)

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Buy ELONKORJUU Music


Harvest TimeHarvest Time
Shadoks Music 2011
Audio CD$13.72
$17.75 (used)
Scumbag Goes To TheatreScumbag Goes To Theatre
Presence Records
Audio CD$26.74
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ELONKORJUU discography


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

3.17 | 18 ratings
Harvest Time
1972

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

ELONKORJUU Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.95 | 2 ratings
Seasons
2012

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

ELONKORJUU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seasons by ELONKORJUU album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Seasons
Elonkorjuu Heavy Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars I am ashamed to admit I had never listened to this Finnish band until this month, not even the vintage 1972 album Harvest Time. With this luxurious 4-CD set I got to know the whole career and was very positively surprised. Actually the Heavy Prog category had made me feel too suspicious for some years. The mentioned debut indeed falls into that genre, but I could have never imagined it's so fine album. It may have some similarities with early heavy rock legends such as Uriah Heep or Black Sabbath (at their more calm), but they seem to have a sound of their own. The vocalist Heikki Lajunen avoids all the heavy rock cliches, instead he's simply a good singer with emotional capacity. The music is composed mainly by the gifted guitarist Jukka Syrenius, and the warm, organic band sound is finished by a good rhythm section and Ilkka Poijärvi on Hammond organ, guitar and flute. The songs have an intelligent aura, a nice combination of heaviness and atmospheric serenity. To me some of the last songs are not as interesting as the first four songs, but still this album's classic status in Finnish early prog is truly deserved.

The first disc contains also two live tracks from Pori Jazz 1974. The 9-minute covering of jazz/blues number 'Somebody Loan Me a Dime' is delicious and makes very clear how excellent guitarist Syrenius is. The 13th track on CD1 is a separate studio recording from 1977.

CD2 ("Summer"; each CD is titled after one of the four seasons!) contains the second album Flyin' High, Runnin' Fast (1978), released under the translated band name Harvest. It is a whole different affair from the debut's heavy prog: it's instrumental jazz rock / fusion, much lighter and airier naturally. This time there are a lot of reeds (tenor and alto sax, clarinet, trumpet), as the line-up had changed greatly. Keyboards are played by Seppo Tyni who has collaborated with Pekka Pohjola among others and has made some solo albums (a PA candidate perhaps?). Syrenius' compositions are first class fusion with a relaxed, happy atmosphere. The six additional live tracks were recorded in Pori 1979, featuring some well-known covers such as Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' and Chick Corea's 'Spain'. These choices reveal from which musical directions the band was drawing inspiration. Concerning the whole set, it's respectable how few of the live tracks appear as album tracks on this set, and also the sound quality is nearly faultless.

Elonkorjuu/Harvest disappeared from sight for 24 years, making a comeback with the album Scumbag (2004). It has some vocals but it's instrumentally oriented fusion like the second album was. Reeds are missing but the music works very well. The compositions, by Syrenius and keyboardist Jussi Reunamäki, are a bit longer and give plenty of room for instruments to shine. Five years later the band recorded a live double album Scumbag Goes to Theatre (released in 2010), that make up the most of CD's 3 and 4. I haven't checked out how largely all these albums are included here; I presume not completely, but that wouldn't make this set less valuable. My favourites from this live album (recorded at Pori Theatre in December 2009) are Syrenius originals 'Waiting' and 'You And I'. The three final tracks are live from 2011. In total, only three songs from the 1972 album appear twice in this package. The essay on the band history is rather short but it also helps to make this set very recommendable to anyone interested in this band.

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 Harvest Time by ELONKORJUU album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.17 | 18 ratings

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Harvest Time
Elonkorjuu Heavy Prog

Review by Passionist

3 stars Here here, something nice from my favourite homecountry. The album is still pretty rare here in Finland, as with the rest of the world too. That's really a shame. Elonkorjuu is a really nice rock band with the 70s atmosphere well alive in their music. They've got a lot of bluesy influences, also some heavy riffs. Most of the songs are based on a bit distorted, yet bright guitar and a heavy bass patterns. The players are good, and the singer uses his voice really well, though perhaps not with the best pronounciation.

The first song is usually the one everyone knows, if they've heard this band at all. The openers 1 & 2 are really standard. The first song is a bit more heavy and faster, setting out the standard for the rest of the album, and the second one is a bit slower, more beautiful song. Unfeeling and Swords.

The third one, Captain is again a bit faster on tempo and has pretty excellent guitar riffing plus in the solo their version of the national anthem of Russia. It's fun to notice stuff like this, and it suits the song pretty well, even though it's not Soviet folk.

Praise our Basement is a little wordplay and again a bit softer song, also with a somewhat longer feeling. There's a long, mostly improvisational instrumental part for the guitar. As for most of their songs, they are really based on the guitar playing of the talent that is Jukka Syrenius.

Future is one of my favourite tracks. It starts with a striking bass intro, and soon the guitar and drums join in. The patterns change a bit but still keeping the same theme, really imaginative and still pretty simple. This is however an instrumental, so it's pretty much a song full of taking their skills to the limit. Pretty nice jamming along a nice background. Very groovy.

Hey Hunter is again a heavy song with a lot of melodic guitar riffs. It's very similar to Unfeeling in the way it's built up. The riff reminds me a lot of early Tasavallan Presidentti, and of course, I can't be sure, but I'd suspect these guys have gotten a lot of influences from this other great Finnish band. Hey Hunter, You see the rabbit is still alive.

The Ocean Song is the one they performed at the Finnish pop chamionships in 1969. Placing second, the live performance is even better than the one on the record. The guys beat their instruments like with real heavy rock, Mr. Hannus beats his double bass drums and plays a nice solo in between, still holding his sticks like the old time jazz-drummers. They've got two guys singing pretty hard melodies, and to think, this song was composed the same year they formed the band first. very nice. And very complex hard rock at that. On the record the song is a lot more jazzy, and it's really just how you like it. I'd suppose these guys used to shred a lot more when playing live. Surprisingly, the recorded version has an organ solo, while the live one from years back had no organ at all. It's a really nice addition too though. Also the basslicks are much more complex on this, so it's obvious they've developed the song a lot further after the contest.

Old Man's Dream is again a lot easier. The chorus is really nice and catchy. It's got a good political message, about how men growing old will see their own children playing the wars they've themselves been through. Most of the songs are with two verses and a chorus, then a long solo with a bit variating theme, and later one again a verse and a chorus. Nothing too difficult to anyone, as the songs aren't that long either. Which could be very good. We've grown a habit of listening to this while driving a car, or at parties, where the vinyl is always welcome, especially with old-rock-oriented friends.

Me and My Friend seems first like an attempt of making something lighter or funnier. The melody in the beginning is like froma cartoon, yet with the distorted guitar. Not my favourite.

The riff on the last song reminds me again a lot of Tasavallan Presidentti. However, right after the intro they're bringing their own style back again. Of course these are a bit similar. Both have an excellent guitarist, who's pretty much the dominating part of the band. Elonkorjuu is here a bit heavier, and though with a flute and an organ, still a bit far from the jazz-rock/fusion genre. The musical passages for them are more often about heavy riffs and strong solos rather than jazz-like progressions.

The album is really good for people who enjoy a glass of wine or beer along themselves every now and then in a smoke filled room. It's very much company music, not to be listened to alone. But with 5 guys or so, does the trick pretty well. Also, I recommend this to everyone, who's into old school Finnish prog. This is one of the bands that just need to be known in that case.

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 Harvest Time by ELONKORJUU album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.17 | 18 ratings

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Harvest Time
Elonkorjuu Heavy Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Finnish quintet Elonkorjuu are one of the many little-known bands that did heavy blues/psych with strong prog elements, drawing initially from the schools of Cream, Sabbath and Colosseum but expanding on those influences with soulful church organ and cutting guitar from leader Jukka Syrenius. There are also warm jazz undertones and an earthy quality to the production, giving this group a vintage sound you can put on like a pair of ancient but dear shoes.

'Unfeeling' is self-sorry blues rock with almost evangelical vocals and Jukka Syrenius' hot licks, not a great opener but 'Swords' continues the disillusioned weeping and picks up with a good arrangement, understated organ and a bit of flute. The surprising 'Future' absolutely rocks and even foreshadows Fripp's use of atonal guitar lines, Syrenius showing sadly underappreciated talent. 'Old Man's Dream' is strange heavy psych with great changes and a beautiful dual guitar exchange, and 'A Little Rocket Song' is a Sabbatic rocker with Zeppelin's guitar/drum dynamics. No obvious pull here for the jaded progster but many little surprises hidden just beneath the surface, and Elonkorjuu is worth investigation if you have an ear for the shadowy and mysterious world of early heavy progressive rock.

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Thanks to Raff for the artist addition.

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