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Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland

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Salaiva biography
SALAIVA is a Finnish jazz rock band from Jyvaskyla formed in 2008. Short of changing their bass player in 2013, the group had a stable line-up which has an very active live performance schedule; their released records can be recommended to fans of improvisational and sometimes psychedelic rock, occasionally reminiscent of Frank ZAPPA's jazz rock work.

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SALAIVA discography

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Tietoisuuden Maailma
4.00 | 2 ratings

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

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
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 Hänk by SALAIVA album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 2 ratings

Salaiva Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hänk (a peculiar name) is the second album by this young band from Jyväskylä, Finland. Well, peculiar is also the band's name: it could be translated as "hidden sarcasm", and if you divide the word as "sa laiva", it means "thou ship", in an archaic, poetic use of language. From the liner notes: "This record needs to be considered as a thematic piece of music from some place in some time with some people or animals or whatsoever. Imagine - what is HÄNK?" These vague words are very revealing about the nature of the album. Various places and various moods are being painted by this mostly instrumental jazz-rock, and the listener is free to form his/her own images.

There are as many as 15 tracks, most of them very brief, but the album flows quite seamlessly. This really is an album to be listened as one entity. Therefore I'm not heading into track-by-track approach this time, I'm trying to give you a picture of this music as a whole. As with their debut, the sound is deliciously retro and is likely to give several associations to a listener of 70's prog. The composing frontman Miikka Huisko's slightly Jim Pembroke-ish vocals (but in Finnish!) may be one reason for thinking of early WIGWAM - at their jazziest. Then there's definitely the melodic power of early CAMEL, and the way the vocals come here and there as an extra element, not as the central substance of songs. On the other hand some vocal tracks, at least 'Laulan' (= I sing), have a slight folk element too. The carefree atmosphere may taste like Canterbury's jazzy rock.

Especially the first tracks on Hänk have some resemblance to the angular jazz-rock vibe of FRANK ZAPPA, in a similar energetic form as e.g. UTOPIANISTI, another recent Finnish jazz-rock artist featuring saxophones. Even VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and their sax can be mentioned in the analysis of Salaiva's sound, which is loaded with gritty energy, including a flavour of Psychedelic/Space Rock. It's not a polished sound, but I don't have any big complaints about the production. Despite having all these associations, I think Salaiva have a great deal of originality. And the album is wonderfully dynamic, ranging from lively fast compositions to more delicate pieces. Both the atmospheres and the arrangements have more variety than in the debut, which was pretty good too. Warmly recommended for all listeners of retroish jazz-rock.

I bet Salaiva would be great live, because the joy of playing comes through the music even on the studio album. Dear band, if you ever make gigs in Tampere - it's not so far from your hometown - , I can guarantee you'll have the most rewarding audience!

 Tietoisuuden Maailma by SALAIVA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.00 | 2 ratings

Tietoisuuden Maailma
Salaiva Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Tietoisuuden maailma ("The World of Consciousness") is the debut album of SALAIVA, a young quintet from Jyväskylä, Finland. All music is written by Miikka Huisko who sings and plays the other guitar. Keyboards are missing, instead there's a saxophone, but the sound is rich and organic - and very retro: one could easily think this music came from the early 70's. This comment must be taken positively. Recording, mixing and mastering were done by the band themselves, and I believe they have reached exactly what they wanted. The sound lacks some sharpness and polish, but this slightly psychedelic jazz-rock makes you feel good and very much at home if you've grown with vintage prog.

Salaiva doesn't however sound like any particular 70's band. Associations - that come in turns, not simultaneously - may include e.g. WIGWAM, TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, HAIKARA, even APOLLO and some other short-lived Finnish groups of the original prog era, and to some degree the jazz-rock of FRANK ZAPPA (less here than on their next album, though). Compared to that follower Hänk (2014), this album contains more vocals, but actually they add another level to the music's progressive nature instead of ever becoming the backbone of the compositions. The voice is distantly reminiscent of Jim Pembroke in the early Wigwam, or Y.U.P's Jarkko Martikainen. On tracks 1 and 2 the vocal parts are mostly calmer moments amidst edgier jazz-rock full of gritty saxophone.

'Tietoisuus' is rather experimental instrumental, hazy and psychedelic. 'Herra olkoon teidän skanssinne' (a Canterbury-like wordplay which I'm not trying to explain to you) is a bit slower track but equally loaded with witty charm. There's a blues flavour in the strangely titled 'Blur (Ei saa)'. Its nihilistic - but luckily very sparse - lyrics would better fit into angry punk rock. "Ei saa" means "not allowed".

'Divaani' (10:42) starts as a slow, atmospheric instrumental with a focus on the seductive sax. The vocals are spoken mumble, and it's a bit hard to hear the words properly. In fact the music would perhaps work even better completely without vocals. The solo for electric guitar is long and delicious. The soloing guitar is central also in 'Riding Camels'. Again, the brief vocal parts are quite unnecessary, but the fiery guitar solo is superb, bringing CAMEL's breakthrough album Mirage into my mind - naturally the title helps.

'Otis', the only track with english lyrics, sounds like a great collaboration between Jim Pembroke, Eero Koivistoinen and Frank Zappa. 'Lauluni' is a soft and hazy little song, a very nice ending to this personal and charming debut. Also Riikka-Maria Partanen's cover art is great!

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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