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Crossover Prog • Finland

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Kurki biography
KURKI ("cranes") is a Finnish female-fronted band formed in 2004. After releasing their debut demo/EP in 2005 they moved towards more progressive sound, blending elements of Folk Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Post-Rock with Indie attitude. The result of this creativity is 2008's full-length self-titled debut album, nice, mellow, atmospheric work in vein of late ANEKDOTEN and PAATOS albums, but with it's own remarkable flavour. Recommended to all fans of melancholic Scandinavin Prog!

Bio by Igor Sidorenko (Prog-jester)

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KURKI discography

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

3.81 | 17 ratings

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

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

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KURKI Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kurki by KURKI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.81 | 17 ratings

Kurki Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's six years since the release of this Finnish debut album - and that was that? Please, c'mon, there are already too many good prog bands with only one Long-Player! LP literally in this case; Kurki came out as a vinyl (containg a download code) but not on CD. By the way, KURKI is not a plural form of crane but a single form. The album - only about 35 minutes in total - consists of five tracks all sung in Finnish by a beautiful female voice.

The opening track (= Songs of distant Eartth; I see no connection to A. C. Clarke's SF novel of the same name) has the fastest tempo and it approaches the trippy Space Rock of e.g. HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, only with vocals. The 9½-minute 'Pilvilaivat' (= Cloud ships) has a melancholic, dreamy song in its core, which is at least for me the most memorable highlight. Kaiti Kink's vocals remind me of Jenni Vartiainen, one of Finland's best-selling female pop artists recently. And this is not a negative remark. In fact Kaiti is even better singer than Jenni who has turned her sigh-loaded mannerism into a trade mark. Anyway, this song is a wonderful fusion of accessible pop balladry and extended prog composing. The lovely, hazy sound has softly sparkling guitars, but it's really the vocals that crown this beauty. Also the esoteric, solace-seeking lyrics are fine, they would stand on their own as poetry.

The second side starts with 'Akasha', no idea what it is. The whole album's lyrics are indeed esoteric, and metaphoric. "Distant echoes, fragile images", and: "The spirit blows wherever it wants / the night can remove the barriers of time". Musically this track of just under 8 minutes shares some of the haziness of 'Pilvilaivat' but with darker edge. 'Koti' (= Home) continues in that melancholic and rather slow & dreamy direction, but in the halfway comes a heavier section à la PORCUPINE TREE. The powerful lyrics deal with domestic violence.

The last title means "In the patterns of butterfly wings". More or less similar mix of hazy and harder elements in a melancholic mood. Some Swedish bands such as PAATOS may come to mind. Perhaps this album remains too short and single-minded, that is, a wider variety in structures and moods would have done good. But it is full of emotionally strong beauty that could be enjoyed by many more listeners, also by those who don't care about the prog labeling. It's truly sad if this relatively hard-to-find band has been discovered by a small bunch of prog enthusiasts only, and if these gifted musicians haven't continued music-making in some form.

 Kurki by KURKI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.81 | 17 ratings

Kurki Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars As soon as I overcame one personal problem (kurki means plural form of "edge of sliced bread, this darker and more thick part", which is quite laughable) and shook off happy mood, I was prepared to enter these dark Finnish waters (I wonder, is there something optimistic from this country ? Perfect music, indeed, but is there something happy, warm and pleasing ?).

This is probably Heavy Prog. Maybe blend of more types, but what's important, manages to bring mystery, energy-like style into my mind. Woman vocals are almost hypnotic, these are psychedelic traits. With ambient passages, or more like these "calm-to-maximum-extent" parts, where you can almost hear wind blowing, slow saxophone playing (Pilviaivat)

Oh, these names are quite hard to spell, or write, but Finnish language is pleasant to hear. I know this for some time because of other F. bands, but this is perhaps first modern bands from this country I'm listening, so I'm pleased. Of course, every female vocals in prog can please a soul of man, as they are rare here (as much as probably in every genre, except pop). I can guess that these songs, feeling I have about this album is, well, ambiguous, divided. I like it, but at the same moment I don't exactly know what I like (just non-certain bits), leaving me little bit unsatisfied. But (now comes this weird point) also satisfied, as I said, more meaning of this music, a lot of feeling you are put through at the same moment.

And that's good thing, so 4(+) with leaning towards five star.

 Kurki by KURKI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.81 | 17 ratings

Kurki Crossover Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As it frequently happens these days, young bands amaze me more than veterans, nevermind the genre. Finnish 'cranes', KURKI, lead by a gorgeous girl (yep, female vocals!), is a kind of such band too. I don't even know their names (and the exact number of musicians, too!), but all I know is that they're wonderful. Imagine a mix of late ANEKDOTEN, early LANDBERK, folksy ESPERS and post-trip- hoppy PAATOS, and you'll get the idea of KURKI's manner of playing music. As usual, there's more than this; lush arrangements, gentle melodies, top-notch musicianship, and the result is 35 minutes of a pure bliss! Besides, if you're lucky to get the vinyl version (there are no CDs, only vynil and digital download versions of KURKI's debut album), spot the artwork, it's nothing but brilliant! I'm happy to notice such good debuts this year from EQUUS, DAY WITHOUT DAWN (already defunct, ha-ha) and now KURKI, astonishing Finnish melancholic Modern Prog! 4,5 stars! Extremely recommended!!!
 Kurki by KURKI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.81 | 17 ratings

Kurki Crossover Prog

Review by progressive

3 stars Strange thing is how fast the music flows - the track lengths feel like they're half of the real length, though there isn't even notably very different phases.

Kaukaisen maan laulut (1.) is much like Hidria Spacefolk, combined with somehow ethereal female vocals and some Kingston-Wall-like instrumental at the end. Pilvilaivat (2.) is very atmospheric pop, and as pop, or post-rock pop it's a rather long track. Still, there's no big instrumentals and the progressive rock is dexterously hiding under and the length is not a problem. The chorus melody is very nice (slightly clichéic but you can't be loving that woman's singing). Akasha (3.) is the song that at the latest gets resemblance with Porcupine Tree, Riverside etc. stronger. Koti (4.) is much like the same (well, not like the same, but flowing in the same way), but it explodes in the middle. Perhosen siiven kuvioissa (5.) grows into the end, with distant choir (that's on other tracks, too, for example even in a form of guitar. Opeth's half-acoustic guitar passages are also present here before the climax.

I think a short review like this suffices, though the resemblances with other band aren't so clear after all. The music is very harmonic, and flowing, as I said, but not too light. Lyrics are nice, though could sound a bit naive. Mostly they are so ethereal and slow that it's hard to say what it says, but I think it's a good thing.

I could give two stars, because this is not my kind of music, but I'm pretty sure that someone could easily give this even five stars (and this is first review and I am Finnish) So if you like the bands mentioned (also and especially Anekdoten and Paatos, though I still don't think Kurki so psychedelic and strong), get yourself liking this.

Thanks to dean for the artist addition.

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