Rediscovering an old favorite: Höyry-kone

Huono Parturi: holy shit!

I love going back and listening to great albums I haven’t touched in years. “Laahustaja” makes me bang my head as much as any metal album has in recent memory. Alamaailman Vasarat has some great cello lines, but the one in “Laahustaja” is pretty much untouchable.

I still remember the performance that Höyry-kone put on at ProgDay 2000; definitely one of the best live sets I’ve ever seen. I have an image in my head of a bunch of solemn dudes in black suits onstage, except the cellist looked like he could have been in a punk band, and the singer had this huge beard and a tophat and sounded like he should have been fronting an opera. That image could be completely fabricated, but I like it.

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3 Responses to “Rediscovering an old favorite: Höyry-kone”

  1. Mike McLatchey Says:

    It might work less so for people who have a lot of music on their computers, but I can’t be the only music fan who turned around and looked at their collection one day and went “what am I thinking?” That was one moment where my tastes really started getting back to the basic question “what do I really want to hear?” The other moment was when I started to hear much of what is new in terms of where I’d previously heard themes, riffs and developments and realizing very little of it was truly new or improved on the old. Of course if I was immortal I probably wouldn’t be thinking any of this, but approaching 40 I figured it was time to solidify the canon and spend time giving hours to what I really like instead of, ahem, a bunch of 8s and 9s. It’s kind of bizarre after chasing down some of the weirdest obscurities out there that what I really want to hear is stuff like early Chicago, the Dead, Miles Davis, etc., basically stuff you can find anywhere.

  2. Brandon Wu Says:

    Hey Mike, thanks for the comment. It’s funny, despite my Hoyry-kone revelation, I look at my prog collection and I increasingly have the same reaction as you. I’m thinking about selling off the vast majority of my obscure prog.

    That said, rather than “solidifying the canon” as you say, these days I’m merely going down different rabbit holes (jazz and, even moreso these days, metal). Perhaps after a few years of this I’ll move on from these things and onto something else, and look back and think again, “what was I thinking?”

    It’s always an adventure.

  3. Mike McLatchey Says:

    Ya know, I went down the jazz rabbit hole kind of after I did the prog thing, and when I came out of it (if I ever truly did), I know it really rewrote my impressions of prog. As charming and arcane as a lot of obscure prog can be, a great deal of it is restrained by limitations, often musicianship (especially a weak spot or two in a band), but just as often production or technology considerations. That’s not the fault of a lot of the bands of course, they had amazing ambitions even in the face of limitations, but it makes a lot of it awkward in retrospect, especially when you hear the swing of jazz and the effortless playing. Hey that’s even true for death metal, another rabbit hole, I’ve never quite emerged from, in fact I really need to swing through your blog and pick up some more recommendations for the dark, death/grindy. If you can suggest anything I might need I’d more than appreciate it, I know it’s been probably a year since I did a sweep.

    On another note, Tom started a new blog called htttp://www.unencumberedmusicreviews.blogspot.com. It’s another attempt to create a place to share music writing that’s inspired by the love for it and as soon as I get my spark back I’ll likely be joining him.

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