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Eclectic Prog • Finland

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Kataya biography
KATAYA are a trio from Finland, with Matti Kervinen, Sami Sarhamaa and Teijo Tikkanen. Their music is mixture of atmospheric, even electronic ambient pieces, with heavy folk overtones and tight electric riffs varying from alternative rock to PINK FLOYD spaces to KING CRIMSON angularity. Thrown in for a good measure are keyboards, shouts and backward-processed vocals, making a unique sound picture.

In studio setup, Kervinen Sarhamaa and Tikkanen are multim-instrumentalist; for live performances, the band is reinforced with Samu Wuori on guitars, Juha Aronen on bass, Tomi Laaksonen on drums and Pale Päiviö on keyboards.

As of 2011, they released two albums, Canto Obscura(2008)and Voyager(2010). Voyger has been nominated by ProgAwards for the 'best foreign record' category.


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Buy KATAYA Music

Samsara Records
Nordic Notes 2010
$6.77 (used)
Canto ObscuraCanto Obscura
Nordic Notes 2008
$12.53 (used)
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KATAYA - VOYAGER NEW CD USD $16.66 Buy It Now 23 days
Voyager Kataya CD USD $38.46 Buy It Now 29 days

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KATAYA discography

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

3.38 | 13 ratings
Canto Obscura
3.79 | 9 ratings

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

4.05 | 3 ratings

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

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

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

KATAYA Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Canto Obscura by KATAYA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.38 | 13 ratings

Canto Obscura
Kataya Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter


Kataya is a trio featuring 3 experienced and successfull Finnish musicians, one plays keyboards and the other two keyboards, bass, guitars and drums. On their debut CD entitled Canto Obscura (that I bought after their excellent gig on the Dutch Symforce III festival in 2009) the band also makes use of several guests on vocals (including highly acclaimed jazz vocalist Johanna Iivanainen), guitars, soprano saxophone and organ. The inspiration comes from the deep wild forests of Finland, one of the last pure and clean, untouched spots of nature on our planet.

After almost 35 years of listening to progrock, in 2009 I was pleasantly surprised by new unique and genuine progressive (rock) music, in this case it's Kataya with their wonderful blend of folk, ambient and prog. The atmospheres on the 12 compositions often are dreamy or contain slow rhythms with subtle, even a bit fragile use of keyboards, guitars and a wide range of instruments, from modern keyboard sounds and saxophone to accordeon and 12-string guitar. To me it sounds very warm and pleasant, if I close my eyes I can imagine the beauty of the lush and pure Finnish landscapes (European Yellowstone) that has inspired Kataya to make this music. In some songs the climates turn into more dynamic and bombastic like Putkivaara (sensitive guitarwork) and my favorite Avojaloin: first acoustic rhythm guitar, then we can enjoy flashy synthesizer flights, a Hammond organ solo and an exciting, perfectly build-up fiery guitar solo by the outstanding guest guitarist Samu Wuori. And some songs contain wordless vocals, a kind of Finnish answer to Pink Floyd's legendary song The Great Gig In The Sky. This colours the music in a very special way, pretty compelling.

What a beautiful and captivating effort to translate pure nature into pure progresssive music!

P.s.: In 2010 Kataya released their second album Voyager and in 2014 the live album Lives.

 Lives by KATAYA album cover Live, 2014
4.05 | 3 ratings

Kataya Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Hey, KATAYA lives on. ... this is an album featuring live recordings from 2012 where they are on a roll, absolutely. Hailing from Finland this is a trio in the first place when it comes to the studio work, but here - for those two partially documented concerts - the line up is enhanced with several additional musicians. 10 predominantly instrumental songs are offered, taken from their two regular albums, exactly proportioned in 5/5, however starting with the later recorded 'Voyager' section first. Well, overall they are implementing an atmospheric flow which is priceless, really fantastic.

This is hard to describe, contradictive somehow. On one hand I hear accessible and catchy music which alone would bring them close to popular bands. Otherwise it's so playful, rich in mood, variety, bears some complex nature here and there due to some twists and turns and the musicians' skills and interplay, that I finally would deny any doubts about their prog character. The opener Blue Cranes Over Korso for example lives from different fragments like puzzled together by accident, an unusual composition without a doubt. Or on Canto Obscura they temporarily drive weird, seem to lose control in between.with some avant leanings.

Both guitarists are often changing between acoustic and electric, additionally a lot of keyboard finesse is to state. The basic mood is relaxed, but they know how to play a heavier pace too like on Sun Geese. Ambient and spacey moments are often present due to spheric keyboard patterns. Recommended! This is a collection which convinces me much, where I'm occasionally inclined to hear traces of SBB, Pink Floyd, Sky Cries Mary or Camel, just in case to offer some orientation pretty much. Now it's your turn!

 Voyager by KATAYA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.79 | 9 ratings

Kataya Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The second album by the Finnish instrumentally oriented trio KATAYA (featuring Matti Kervinen on keyboards plus some vocals and multi-instrumentalists Sami Sarhamaa and Teijo Tikkanen) offers a dreamy voyage full of Floydian spaceyness and beauty. It can be said right away that those prog listeners who want complex structures, challenging musical ideas, unpredictability and virtuotic fast playing would be either deadly bored or deeply frustrated as they would wait something edgier to finally happen. But those who enjoy floating comfortably in harmonic atmospheres - like one floats in a foam bath - will most likely find a lot of pleasure from this album.

This is pure horizon painting with no intentions to convince anyone with technical competence. Guitars and keyboards - I believe it to be analog equipment such as Moog - work side by side to build ear-pleasing sound layers where it becomes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I deliberately sound like speaking of gentle intercourse. This music is smooth and emotional, and the album proceeds in such a delicate manner that one hardly notices any seams between the tracks. Even the mood never goes very far from New Age -reminding universal harmony, it just gets slightly more melancholic or shadowy or brighter or adventurous along the way.

If Canto Obscura (2008) provoked forest-smelling images of nature, Voyager has taken off the ground and travels across the starry night sky. Some prog purists may look down their noses at this album, as its serenity and softness is in many ways an antithesis to modern prog, but I'm deeply pleased that there are musicians reminding us that progressive rock has every right to be harmonically beautiful and perhaps undemanding too.

 Canto Obscura by KATAYA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.38 | 13 ratings

Canto Obscura
Kataya Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This group from Finland was established around mid-00's by Pax Romana's leader/founder Matti Kervinen.Kataya evolved from the disbandment of the Ethno/Ambient act Wolf Larsen, where Kervinen played with Teijo Tikkanen.They added multi-instrumentalist Sami Sarhamaa, also founder of the Finnish label Presence Records, in the line-up and the trio recorded its debut ''Canto Obscura'' during a two-year period, released in the spring of 2008.Outside help comes from five guest musicians on vocals, guitars, sax and organ.

The music here seems like coming out of the cold yet sensational Finnish landscapes.Ethereal, delicate and smooth Progressive Rock with mainly folky influences, but offered through an intelligent modern approach, including electronic loops and synthesizers.Kervinen & co. deliver series of short but very elaborate and polished arrangements with limited, dreamy female vocals and a tendency towards moving, instrumental themes with a balanced sound between acoustic and electric vibes.Compatriots MIST SEANSON and VIIMA spring to mind here and there.Deeply atmospheric, the arrangements are based on the mellow synthesizer lines, the folky acoustic guitars and the melodic electric solos, creating cinematic pictures of the Finnish land.The outstanding wordless voices of the two female singers make the whole atmosphere even more emotional.A few tracks though contain a higher level of energy, led by constant CAMEL-esque guitar moves, organs and a more pronounced use of synthesizers.

This is the definition of atmospheric, instrumental Progressive Rock, scanning the emotions from passionate music through laid-back textures of a dreamy approach.Warmly recommended.

 Canto Obscura by KATAYA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.38 | 13 ratings

Canto Obscura
Kataya Eclectic Prog

Review by Quirky Turkey

3 stars Canto Obscura - 3.4 / 5

This is an instrumental album with ambient sounds and a new-agey feel to it. Guitars are very dominant and add nice textures but I have to say a few of the solos sounded a little tacky. The keyboards are mostly atmospheric and there's lead synth and organ here and there which is always welcome. The first half of the album contains female vocals without lyrics used as an instrument, like in 'Great Gig in the Sky' by Pink Floyd. The music isn't technical and remains worldly and relaxing throughout, like something you'd hear in an exotic holiday resort foyer. 'Putkivaara' is a nice change though, and contains a faster rhythm and a more 'rockier' feel. 'Mindfrost' contains some weird narration which is also a change but I didn't really like it. Despite these changes the overall moody tone of the album is present in all the songs. Some highlights for me are 'Avojaloin' with it's pleasant rhythmic flow, and Ahava; slice of heaven with its distinct vocal harmonies. In fact Ahava is the only song that evokes a deep emotional response from me.

Overall, a pleasant album but not incredibly progressive. It didn't really pull me in and it felt a bit like an easy listening new-age rock album with progressive rock elements, nothing that pushes boundaries or demands a lot of attention.

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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