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Eclectic Prog • Finland

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Vitkaste biography
Group VITKASTE was formed in Helsinki year 2003 by Joonas HIETALA, Vesa MAKKONEN and Heikki KORHOLA. The early years were spent with intensive training, and the group had also some lesser active periods. During summer 2008 Joonas spent few weeks in countryside near river Lestinjoki, where a composition was born, later enlargened as a six-piece suite. A phase of this sonic entity was preserved to their debut record released January 2011, having many musician friends visiting on both the album and on the gigs.

Musically the group merges modern and traditional elements as electronic / acoustic tones, where composed sequences give space for improvisations, and the whole musical concept is constantly open for new openings and evolvement. This fusion concludes to quite organic sound, flowing naturally like a stream of a vivid river with electronic leanings. The group's collectivism is realized with their artist friends, who are loosely attached to the core trio. These collaboration relationships find their natural way by acting correctly in the constant flow of new events, and the music itself might be only an end result of experiences and reflections of this social level. This kind of philosophies lead to constant evolvement of art creation process and searching of new perceptions, having the world of dreams influencing powerfully to the group activity conducted in the waken world. In live concerts the performing could be merged to concepts of theatre; In addition of collaborations with performance artists, the larger musician collective of the band holds very strong capability of performing with various instruments, and thus the dramatic curve of a concert can be displayed on the stage with various approaches and visual enhancements. From these personal methods crystallizes another Finnish good quality underground band, pulsing with kind and sensitive vitality.

Eetu Pellonpää

Official homepage
Interview of Joonas Hietala 8th Jan 2011

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VITKASTE discography

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

4.02 | 4 ratings

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

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lestinjoki by VITKASTE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.02 | 4 ratings

Vitkaste Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars What an amazing piece of music! After hearing two parts of this 6-part suite from YouTube, I knew to expect a highly original and interesting instrumental album, but the whole -- despite being short, roughly 32 minutes -- truly exceeds my expectations.

VITKASTE from Finland had existed for several years before they released their only album. Around the time of release they gave a lot of gigs, but sadly it seems that the band is history now. The core trio is the composer and multi-instrumentalist Joonas Hietala, bassist Vesa Makkonen and drummer Heikki Korhola. The album also features Heikki Puska (of UZVA) on harp, Sini Palokangas (of DASPUTNIK) on saxes, vibes and violin, Jussi Hurskainen on alto sax, Nico Kanerva on clarinet, and Janne Vuorensyrjä on turntables.

Divided in six untitled parts, the whole suite flows as an unbroken entity, occasionally bringing MIKE OLDFIELD's early albums from Tubular Bells to Incantations into my mind. There are the similar folky nuances while the album is jazzier than Oldfield has ever been, and there are also flavours of Psychedelic Space Rock and electronic music. This is music to surrender to completely, letting your mind wander freely along the warm & positively charged soundscape.

I prefer just enjoying rather than analyzing this music, but I want to give you the idea of the sonic richness: Pt.1 is rather slow and dreamy, vibes and violin make charming little roles. Pt. 2 speeds up and slightly resembles the unique Fusion of PEKKA POHJOLA. On the 3rd part my attention is grabbed by the delicious drum work and lovely multi-layered melodic lines for guitars, keys and reeds. Pt. 4 starts silently and hypnotically with harp in the leading role. Makkonen adds some distant wordless voices... a solitary piano, accompanied soon by other instruments... a soprano sax solo...

And so on. I don't kow how well the album is available (and it's a shame that I'm only the second person to even rate this album here), but count yourself lucky if you manage to get a copy and enjoy it half as much as I do. A masterpiece of modern, boundary-free instrumental music!

 Lestinjoki by VITKASTE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.02 | 4 ratings

Vitkaste Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Finnish ensemble VITKASTE has been around in one form or another since 2004, describing their activities as "modern/traditional electronic/acoustic audio/visual composed/improvised trio/collective music" ? a multimedia art collective in short. The most recent output from the music part of this outfit is the CD "Lestinjoki", issued in the spring of 2011.

Positive, instrumental art rock referencing mid 70's Camel and jazz rock from about the same era is what the Finnish band Vitkaste has to offer on their album "Lestinjoki". Good quality music, well performed and adequately produced, and a fine album for those with a fancy for instrumental music going back and forth between symphonic art rock and fusion in stylistic expression.

Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the artist addition.

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