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INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Eclectic Prog • Finland


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Inner Light Orchestra biography
INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA's first gathering happened at the Cable Factory's cellar in Helsinki in February 2004. A bunch of old friends had come there for a special Full Moon-jamsession. In the same cellars, the musicians of collective had played with various underground-groups, such as UZVA, WASAMI, HIDRIA SPACEFOLK, OSIRIS, SOUL CAPTAIN BAND. In the summer´04, the first live-appearance at the Faces-festival got good response from the audience. Since then the group began to reach some local underground-fame, thanks to their energetic and flowing performances of which highlights were long improvised parts that took the atmosphere into trance-like spheres at best.

The InstruMental music of I.L.O. respects mostly the masters of psychedelic and (especially Finnish) progressive rock of 1960/70´s. Actually the band itself labels their sound sometimes as "regressive rock". After all, I.L.O. has had a great honor to do some co-work with the legendary Finnish Hammond-organist, Jukka GUSTAVSON (WIGWAM, JUKKA GUSTAVSON ORGAN FUSION BAND etc.) during the past years. Jukka also plays on one track on "Pearl Moon"-debut that was released on 28th Nov. 2012. Another guest-artist on album is Jenni SADEMIES, who played traditional saw. Recording and mixing of the album was done by Daniel ÖSTERLUND during 2008-2010. Most of the guitars, bass and drums were recorded live in studio to capture the feeling and the magic of the moment. Cover painting is done by artist Antti SILVEKOSKI, and the self-produced album was released by own independent label, "AstralTravelAgency".

Last few past years from the time of writing, INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA has performed quite rarely and erratically in some nice occasions with a 5-piece lineup of Samuel LEMINEN/guitar, Heikki PUSKA/guitar, Kimmo DAMMERT/bass, Ville VÄÄTÄINEN/drums and Janina LEHTO/flute, who replaced their original sax/fluteplayer Antti LAURONEN in 2007. Sometimes their concerts feature also guest musicians like Jukka GUSTAVSON/organ, Markus HOLKKO/sax, Tuomo PRÄTTÄLÄ/rhodes, Sini PALOKANGAS/sax, Joonas HIETALA/drums or Simppa/darbouka.


Eetu Pellonpää from band interview Dec 2013


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INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA discography


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3.68 | 12 ratings
Pearl Moon
2012

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INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pearl Moon by INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.68 | 12 ratings

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Pearl Moon
Inner Light Orchestra Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is the only release from I.L.O. (by the way, "ilo" means joy in Finnish!). The instrumental group - which I would actually rather label as Jazz-Rock/Fusion than Eclectic Prog - is led by guitarist-composer Samuel Leminen (formerly of WASAMI; no idea what kind of a band it is). One track, 'Boogie Nights', he wrote together with Heikki Puska, the guitarist-composer of the excellent and sadly bygone prog act UZVA. These two guys share the guitar duties, curiously mixed into the left and right channel separately. Also saxophonist-flautist Antti Lauronen served formerly in Uzva, and the bassist Kimmo Dammert is known from the Space Rock band HIDRIA SPACEFOLK.

I'm really fond of the drawn cover art by Antti Silvekoski! It reminds me of the early 70's heydays of the album cover art in progressive rock especially. This is a very justified allusion, since the music too reflects the vintage Finnish jazz-rock oriented prog such as PEKKA POHJOLA, TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI, JUKKA TOLONEN and WIGWAM.

In the opener 'Boogie Nights' the reggae-ish beat is luckily only a starting & returning point for an uplifting and unquestionably progressive 9-minute Fusion ride. At first I thought it to be my least fave of the five tracks, but in fact it has much more spirit than the guitar-emphasized 'Winds of Oyá'. Soprano saxophone is perhaps the other key instrument in the album's overall sound besides electric guitar. The third track 'Lamentation of Ancestress' features the Hammond organ of legendary JUKKA GUSTAVSON (ex-WIGWAM) and is the definitive highlight. In the beginning the introspective melodies are built slowly in a Pekka Pohjola style, and after the Hammond gradually takes a bigger and bigger role, the playing is filled with sheer joy and the listener is totally charmed with this very vintage sounding composition.

The nearly 13-minute 'Summer Days, Summer Nights' gets in my opinion a bit boring in its jam-like stretched structure, but surely it's not without joy and power either. The final number 'Domestic Spirits' starts delicately with acoustic guitar and flute, but the folky flavour gives way to a fuller jazz- rock sound led by strong electric guitars. The high-pitched flute struggles along until the more harmonious end.

Many connoisseurs of [Finnish] vintage prog will be delighted by this jazzy, happy music. There are wonderful highlights but also some less interesting, jam-approaching stuff lacking of impressive melodies. Another negative remark is that the arrangements are not as colourful and many-sided as on the albums of UZVA for example. Anyway, a warmly recommendable addition in the prog- listeners shelf somewhere near the classics of the artists and bands mentioned.

 Pearl Moon by INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.68 | 12 ratings

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Pearl Moon
Inner Light Orchestra Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

I'm not exactly sure how and when and why Uzva just disappeared, but three of the members of its last incarnation found their way into this ILO project, including leader Puska, hornman Lauronen and drummer Vaatainen (sorry for the missing '''). One better not look too hard for the Uzva sound in this project: gone are the folk and jazz influences (though the sax interventions are still jazzy), because we're definitely in a rockier but entirely instrumental musical world where one may also pick up a few psych-reggae slant that may get you thinking about Ozric Tentacles and at times a bit of Gong. Though recorded throughout the 08 to 10 era, this album only saw the light of day in 12, but there is little doubt that the excellent autumnal artwork wasn't responsible for the delay.

The energetic rock cum fusion is relatively even throughout the five tracks of the album, ranging from 7 to almost 13-mins, and the double guitar attack does give it a harder edge than one might have suspected ex-Uzva members would've indulged in. Don't get me wrong, though: we never reach metallic proportions either, and Lauronen's sax parts have a definite funk/jazz slant. One could fear that the music is a bit samey throughout the album's 50 minutes, but there are a few friends r-that give a helping hand, including a superbly blonde flautist on the closing Spirits and Jukka Gustavson's Hammond on Ancestress or even a saw on Winds Of Oya. As a matter of fact, the album goes crescendo in intensity and Domestic Spirits really rocks your socks off with some slight Gong-esque hints.

Hopefully, this isn't the last thing we'll hear from this project, because based on the solid grounds, there is plenty of possibilities offered to them. Definitely worth keeping an eye out in their direction, if you ask me.

 Pearl Moon by INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.68 | 12 ratings

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Pearl Moon
Inner Light Orchestra Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars While neither the band nor their label has an internet presence, other sources have revealed to me that the Finnish band INNER LIGHT ORCHESTRA is a constellation of musicians otherwise active in bands such as Hidria Spacefolk, Uzma and Wasami. "Pearl Moon" is their debut album, recorded from 2008 to 2010, and finally released in November 2012.

Inner Light Orchestra has produced an intriguing debut album with "Pearl Moon". Their chosen stylistic expression is one hard to place within a specific, but as psychedelic oriented arrangements dominate a taste for material of that kind will be needed to be able to enjoy this instrumental production. As will a taste for 70's oriented hard rock and occasional flurries into fusion and folk oriented territories. As for who this album will appeal to, I'd guess that those who have albums by the Allman Brother Band side by side with classic Santana in their collection might be something of a key audience, especially those amongst that group who also tend to enjoy psychedelic rock.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition. and to Eetu Pellonpää for the last updates

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