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KTU: Quiver

King Crimson appendages, Trey Gunn (Warr Guitar) and Pat Mastelotto (percussion) along with Kluster's accordion axeman Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling fool Samuli Kosminen formed KTU (pronounced K2) in 2004 giving birth to one of the most eclectic and original progressive bands I have heard in quite a long time. Quiver is their sophomore release and does not suffer from the "sophomore curse" in the least.

The early track, "Kataklasm" features sampled church organ and ethereal chime arpeggios that are channeled through Pohjonen's hybrid accordion to aural delight. Crunchy guitar and bombastic percussion rip a whole in the light and airy tapestry set down by Pohjonen, which is then replaced by a new stitchery of effective Warr guitar tapping work by Gunn. The title track introduces a spacey canvas to what could be close to KTU's signature sound classic accordion voicings usually saved for polka connotations fly into unchartered territory of a complex rhythm labyrinth set down by Mastelotto and Gunn my favorite track on the CD. "Jacaranda," dusts off the Chapman Stick for a romp around the studio, upbeat and funky, this tune also puts juxtaposition to the test with a ghostly accordion lilting in and out of the piece beautiful. The only low point on the CD is the final track, "Snow Reader." A rather long and meandering tune that teeters on real-time improvisation. If you like soundtrack music, you'll like this piece.

Despite the throwaway track, Quiver is a keeper. Pioneering new paradigms and pushing the prog rock envelope is no easy task, yet these veteran's do it with grace and aplomb.


Track Listing
1. Fragile Sun (1:40)
2. Kataklasm (5:08)
3. Nano (4:44)
4. Quiver (3:15)
5. Purga (5:44)
6. Womb (3:43)
7. Wasabi Fields (4:00)
8. Jacaranda (3:55)
9. Aorta 2:50)
10. Miasmaa (4:54)
11. Snow Reader (5:40)

Added: February 3rd 2010
Reviewer: Jon Rice
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1918
Language: english

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KTU: Quiver
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-02-04 13:04:14
My Score:

Ok raise your hands if you've only ever equated the accordion with folk music and polka's. I guess I can put my hand down now as well. This was pretty much first and foremost on my mind when I got a copy of the latest release Quiver from a trio known as KTU. This group is comprised of Trey Gunn on Warr guitar, Pat Mastelotto on rhythmic devices, beats and noises, and Kimmo Pohjonen on accordion and voice. I have to admit to being an unabashed fan of almost anything Gunn and Mastelotto have put their hands on, whether it was their contributions in legendary progressive band King Crimson, their work as a duo (TU), or their own projects apart from each other. Still I was curious as to how the Kimmo's accordion would be incorporated into the sound of Pat and Trey's eclectic musical personalities. Well no need to worry, throw out any preconceived notions you may have about the instrument because a lot of the time Pohjonen alters the sound of his instrument in such a way that it will have you thinking twice about its capabilities in a rock environment, if you want to classify the music on Quiver as rock that is.

These eleven compositions are a pleasantly esoteric mix of electronic, progressive and traditional folk music. The heavier more muscular tracks such as "Aorta", "Kataklasm" and "Miasmaa" bring to mind Pat and Trey's days together in Crimson. "Wasabi Fields" is an intriguing blend of electronic textures highlighting Gunn's emotive soling on the Warr guitar and Kimmo's eloquent accordion playing, while "Snow Reader" is a reflective, almost restrained, atmospheric composition.

As a whole Quiver isn't easy to pin down and don't expect to hear any of these tracks on the radio any time soon. However, if you appreciate good quality music and you've kept up with Pat and Trey's various projects I think you'll find that Quiver has quite a bit to offer.

(originally reviewed for www.classicrockrevisited.com)



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