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QUIVER

KTU

Eclectic Prog


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Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars When I saw the lineup of this project, I was intrigued: The capable Pat Mastelotto doing what he does best behind the kit and Trey Gunn popping out oodles of notes on his Warr guitar. Fair enough- but then there's this guy named Kimmo Pohjonen, whom I'd never heard of- and what is his main instrument? I wasn't altogether sure what business an accordion had among the likes of Gunn and Mastelotto, but one of Pohjonen's goals has been to expand the sonic capabilities of the accordion, and in so doing, changing the way the instrument is viewed. In that, he does not fail. In this recording he creates sounds that one might say cannot possibly be from that maligned instrument, including a harmonica, synthesizer, and a church organ. For those seeking something a little different, this may be just what the doctor ordered. It isn't spectacular, but it's definitely worth checking out.

"Fragile Sun" The introductory track consists of the calm music of the accordion.

" Kataklasm" High-pitched tones with the accordion piping in now and again begin with a deceptive introduction. The heavily distorted guitars and powerful drumming form the basis for what sounds like a church organ in a demonic cathedral.

"Nano" Over a galloping rhythm, the accordionist plays a creative series of chords just before the piece turns into something darkly exotic. Over sparse instrumentation, what sounds like bells ring out a sinister melody.

"Quiver" This piece blends a more electronic flavor a la Ozric Tentacles with something more akin to Celtic music. It also features a growling, fiery guitar solo.

"Purga" Ominous, ambient sounds and quiet percussion sound like some malevolence lurking in the woods unseen- the only solace is the light of the accordion. The piece is almost tribal, complete with organic percussion and chanting voices.

"Womb" That mournful accordion, accompanied only by what sounds closer to a contrabass being abused, makes up this sparse track. In my mind these sounds evoke what I can only describe as watching- in hindsight- people happily board the Titanic.

"Wasabi Fields" Using a more traditional accordion tone and musical structure, this piece is perhaps the most accessible of the bunch, maintaining ever-so-slight Italian nuances.

"Jacaranda" The album changes feel with this spunky piece, which begins with a snappy Warr guitar introduction, but a drum solo consumes much of the second half.

"Aorta" After a hard-hitting, staccato introduction, the music becomes heavier, and I must say, a bit hard to follow. This is my least favorite on the album- almost headache-inducing.

"Miasmaa" On the other hand, this is one of my favorites here. This has a decidedly symphonic structure, almost making me think of Kansas with an accordion in lieu of a violin. It's hard-hitting and majestic all at once.

"Snow Reader" The final track has a light, spacey opening. I feel like this piece would have been much better suited toward the beginning- after the previous track, this one seems dull and uninspired, even though on its own, it's a delicate and enjoyable work.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#244241)
Posted Sunday, October 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very powerful record. It is amolts impossible to listen to it if a woman is around you. This is great music. I still do not like completely, since I heard only a few times. But I am pretty sure that after many times I would like a lot. I think it is very good music to drive a car. Probably, you will go at full speed. This is nice sensation, like dangerous curves. One has to be careful, but you will enjoy for sure. I think the music is very great and the acordion is great. Pat Matelotto does a really great work here. Five stars of course.

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Send comments to amontes (BETA) | Report this review (#255104)
Posted Wednesday, December 09, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After such a powerful debut, this album for me was a bit disappointment. I waited for KTU second album some years, and as result received this work - still good , but far from what could be expected.

I believe not everyone know, that KTU is a Finnish-US project, based on collaboration between US KC-related project TU ( Trey Gunn-Pat Mastelotto) and Finnish excellent accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen ( in KTU debut album Finnish part was represented by Kluster duet: accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen + Samuli Kosminen (samples, effects). There, on KTU second work, Samuli Kosminen presented as guest musician only.

So -what is wrong with this album? If their debut was experimental, often free-form ambient soundscapes, gothic jazz and Nordic folk, mixed all in one explosive heavy progressive brew, Quiver is much more framed one. Very structurised, cleaned from all free form experimentation, in fact chamber heavy work for Warr guitar, rhythm (mostly electronic) devices and quite stereotypic accordion sound. Almost all compositions are of the same face, quite formal and even boring after half album was passed. Possibly, the idea was to produce much more accessible sound, but the result is a bit academic and even boring.

If strong point of their debut was this unlimited experimentation and even jazzy improvisation, there on their second album you will hardly find even traces of that spirit. Even exotic accordion in almost all places sounds as just regular electric keyboards.

Still not a bad album, but far from their great debut. Let's wait (with hope) what will be their next step

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#280464)
Posted Tuesday, May 04, 2010 | Review Permalink

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