Ktu: 8 Armed Monkey (2005)
KTU offers Pohjonen, the undisputed leader of this outfit, a much denser and more multilayered rhythmic palette than he has encountered on previous projects. Kosminen includes some imaginative and innovative samples, especially the vocals on "Optikus" and "Absinthe" that contend with Pohjonen's guttural growls. Gunn's Warr guitar functions as an intricate choir of basses that solidify the textures, and Mastelotto's drums stress the grooves.
With such an enveloping rhythm section, Pohjonen's demonic onslaughts get closer to the musical universe of another sound sorcerer, King Crimson's Robert Fripp, and bring him full circle to where this project began. Six years ago the seeds for KTU took root while Pohjonen played with Fripp in Texas, when he shared a bill with Mastelotto/Gunn/Fripp's Project Three, but it took KTU another five years to release its first disc.
The five tracks on 8 Armed Monkey present KTU in different moods and sonic excursions. The opening track, "Sumu," suggests the dark atmosphere of this release. "Optikus," with Gunn's distorted, funky churning and Pohjonen's ecstatic solo, is the best track. Kosminen's samples outline the minimalist and mysterious "Sineen," and the collectively improvised "Absinthe" sounds like it's part of King Crimson's late-'90s repertoire. The concluding track, "Keho," is a slow and dark piece. 8 Armed Monkey offers an intense ride that simultaneously resembles a simple, ancient, shamanistic ritual and a futuristic soundscape, overloaded with disturbing and tempting information.
Track Listing: Sumu; Optikus; Sineen; Absinthe; Keho.
Personnel: Kimmo Pohjonen: accordion and voice; Trey Gunn: warr guitar; Samuli Kosminen: accordion and voice samples; Pat Mastelotto: rhythmic devices.
Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings
Style: Beyond Jazz