KTU — 8 Armed Monkey
(Thirsty Ear THI57162.2, 2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01
I don’t suppose “King Crimson with accordions” was high on anyone’s list of expected musical combinations, but here we are, and I’m glad somebody thought of it. The King Crimson part comes courtesy of Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto (who also play as a duo called TU); the accordion part comes from two Finns, Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen, who play together under the name Kluster. Kluster + TU = KTU. This release is a seamless melding of planning and improvisation featuring four musicians who do not recognize boundaries between styles and techniques. For those who fear the accordion, I offer some comfort, for today’s accordion can be augmented in many ways, becoming a controller for electronic instruments, and often retains none of its traditional sound. Back in April of 2004, these four got together for a series of concerts in Finland and Japan, and the five tracks presented here were recorded at those shows, although they do not really sound like live recordings: there’s no audience noise, and the four of them manage such a mass of sound that you’d swear there were overdubs. Live sound manipulation helps with that. Gunn and Mastelotto frequently lay down grooves reminiscent of latter-day Crimson, though with less of the interlocking note patterns, and Pohjonen and Kosminen fill things up with chords, melodies, and sound effects. It works amazingly well, complementing experimentation with catchy grooves.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more