Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen (from Finnish duo Kluster) and Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn (from King Crimson and duo TU) join forces for the double duo formation KTU (pronounced K2). Seeds for KTU took root at SXSW in Austin Texas in March 1999 when Pohjonen shared a billing with Mastelotto/Gunn/Fripp's Project Three at the Electric Lounge. Plans for the quartet took shape over the next five years. KTUs aim is to combine the creative energies, edge, imagination and other elements of the double duos to make something new, different and musically explosive. Material is mainly comprised of compositions by Pohjonen and Kosminen, plus pieces by Gunn and Mastelotto and arrangements and improvisations by all four. Surround sound design and additional effects by Heikki Iso-Ahola. KTU rehearsals and the World Premiere concert took place in Helsinki at the venue Nosturi in April 2004, followed by four concerts in Tokyo at Eggman. All concerts were recorded on multi-track for this CD release. Kimmo Pohjonen (accordion, voice) / Samuli Kosminen (accordion samples and voice samples) / Trey Gunn (Warr guitar) / Pat Mastelotto (rhythmic devices).
Anyone who'switnessed Kimmo Pohjonen - often lazily referred top as Finland's Hendrix of the accordion - will attest to his power to shock. His performances are equal parts art installation, virtuoso showcase and shamanistic ritual: Brooding, muttering hypnotic maelstroms that conjur up Jungian memory and dread in spades. So how does this translate into the two-dimensional world of the CD? Previous recorded work, while undeniably fearsome, has tended to leave you with a feeling that only with the aid of a DVD player would you get the full picture. However KTU's 8 Armed Monkey has no such shortcomings.
Working with sampler Samuli Kosminen and King Crimson rhythm buddies, Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn, it appears that a more democratic approach has broadened Kimmo's palette accordi(o)ngly. This album contains noises that no simple squeezebox was ever meant to make! Recorded in Japan, Monkey...bubbles with menace (especially on Pohjonen's solo composition ''Optikus'') while retaining a digital clarity that allows Gunn's soaring Warr guitar lines to add a new level of yearning sadness. Pohjonen's very personal brand of voodoo really benefits from such a setting. Maybe the world is finally ready for Finnish prog-folk! --Chris Jones
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