Finnforest — Finnforest / Lähtö Matkalle
(Laser's Edge LE1025, 1976/1996, CD)
Finnforest — Finnforest
(Love Records LRLP 136, 1975, LP)
Finnforest — Lähtö Matkalle
(Love Records LRLP 193, 1976, LP)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01
At the core of this classic Finnish prog-fusion unit were two brothers, Pekka and Jussi Tegelman, on guitars and drums respectively. They recorded three albums in the mid-late 70s; the first two are classic status, and are both included here on a single CD. The early Finnforest (circa the first album) was a three-piece, adding Jukka Rissanen playing piano, electric piano, organ, and synthesizer. Their sound at that point in time was a spirited blend of jazz and rock, with occasional classical elements injected, keeping the mixture fresh and interesting. For comparison’s sake, one might imagine music falling midway between same-period Pekka Pohjola (B the Magpie era) and Beyond Expression era Finch. Indeed, Pekka Tegelman’s guitar attack on the first album is in many ways similar to Joop van Nimwegen, yet the music overall is more in the early Pohjola vein. Needless to say, fans of National Health, Kenso, and other similarly inclined music should find much here of interest.
For the second album, Lähtö Matkalle, the band became a four-piece (a regular bassist added) and two new elements begin to appear: the use of a string section on the title track highlights some very original modern classical ideas, and the addition of bassist Jarmo Hiekkala rounds out a funkier rhythm section. The latter, coupled with new keyboardist Jukka Linkola, adds a stronger taste of distinctly American fusion, perhaps reflecting some influence of mid-period Chick Corea’s Return to Forever (Where Have I Known You Before / No Mystery) as well as Billy Cobham, circa Spectrum, or even early Weather Report. That said, the music here remains patently unique, successfully blazing its own trail.
The original pressings of both albums (released on Love records) had a very flat sound and quality problems as well. Of course, (as always with The Laser's Edge) the sound has been meticulously handled, remastered, and brought to life as never before. Overall, this is one of the tastiest reissues of recent memory.
Related artist(s): Finnforest
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more