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KTU - Quiver CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.53 | 37 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars KTU is a project of the Finnish accordion artiste extraordinaire KIMMO POHJONEN and Pat Mastoletto & Trey Gunn, best known from KING CRIMSON. Originally there was a fourth member, samplemaker Samuli Kosminen, who still contributes with "additional beats and noises, Kosminization" on this second album. KTU's debut 8 Armed Monkey (2005) consists of five 7-10 -minute tracks and I find it terribly boring. (Some reviewers however prefer it over this one, and I can understand that opinion too.) In my opinion it definitely helps - in the case of KTU, not generally! - to have the music in shorter and thus tighter units, eleven in total. There's much more life on this album, and the trio has clearly grown tighter in composing collectively. Five tracks are credited to them all.

This rather experimental instrumental music is hard to place into specific genres or categories. It has elements of Ambient, World Music and Avant-Garde, without forgetting [progressive] rock. One can simply call it modern progressive music. As I'm now listening to Quiver for the second or third time, I'm very positively surprised how well it avoids the traps of the debut. This album never gets stuck for too long in one idea; it breathes and lives and lets the listener jump in with open arms. (The monkey's 8 arms then weren't so friendly, ha ha...)

Trey Gunn's 'Fragile Sun' is a slow, ambient opener, followed by an effective group composition. Pohjonen's accordion easily stands for a keyboard arsenal and Gunn's Warr guitar also is a versatile instrument. Mastoletto shows his capability as a rock drummer too on this many-sided, balanced album.

Just few more track pickings. 'Purga' is slowly growing, otherworldly soundscape. Distant, wordless chant gives it a tribal-like atmosphere, and the track impressively proceeds into rockier realms. 'Wasabi Fields' by Pohjonen has fascinating sounds - including also rather ordinary accordion playing - in a coherent song-like composition. 'Jacaranda' has the rhythmic edginess familiar from contemporary King Crimson. The closing number 'Snow Reader' (also by Pohjonen) is Ambient-oriented serene piece.

To those more deeply interested in these musicians (I confess I've never got very interested in past-seventies King Crimson, nor I believe Kimmo Pohjonen will become a favourite artist) this brave, unique album is surely worth checking out. To some degree it may be a grower to me as well.

Matti | 3/5 |


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