KTU
8 Armed Monkey

MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO
At the Center

BEANS
Only

[Thirsty Ear, www.thirstyear.com]

Curated by Matthew Shipp, Thirsty Ear's Blue Series has either come up with usual expected results [blending jazz and one other musical category], while at times, they come up with some surprising releases.  This bunch certainly fits into the latter group.
Name KTU is actually derived from two bands Kluster [made up of accordion player/vocalist Kimmo Pohjonen and samplist Samuli Kosminen] and TU [represented by guitarist Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto on various rhythmic devices].  While Kimmo Pohjonen is used to performing furiously spirited live shows, "8 Armed Monkey" is a different animal altogether.  Neither prog-rock, nor distilled world music, the album treads a fine line as it attempts to define its own unique categories.  Album's opener, "Sumu" is a nearly 9 minute piece featuring a ton of sampled vocals, Pohjonen's trademark accordion [heavily processed], along with a build-up that leads to a rhythmically cluster-filled climax.  On "Optikus", Pohjonen is a possessed madman as he plays rhythmic passages on the accordion, while the rest of the band adds an underlying, repetitive beat.  Perhaps the most furious piece on the record, "Absinthe" - which features samples of whacked-out vocals, along with various harsh percussion - is also the one that comes closest to any prog rock label that could befall on the band.   More than anything else, the album sounds like a successful exorcism.
The man behind Meat Beat Manifesto moniker was certainly ready for a challenge when he tackled "At the Center".  While he's best known for his hard-hitting 90's projects like "Satyricon" and "Subliminal Sandwich", this time around he comes back with something more ear-friendly, something even more daring than in the past.  Joining Dangers [who plays bass, flutes, clarinets and "everything else"] are Thirsty Ear executive Peter Gordon on flute, percussionist Dave King and keyboardist Craig Taborn.  Imagine a mish-mash of break-beat, sampled scores and light percussive rhythms being attacked with sounds of soothing flutes and thick slabs of Hammond B3 organ.  "Bohemian Groove" turns out to be a middle-eastern piece, heavily tinged with radio broadcasts and some static, while "Shotgun! (Blast to the Brain)" sounds like an instrumental bit from Gil-Scott Heron's glory days, supplemented with organs and flutes.  The closing piece, "Granulation 1" - full of trickling keyboards and odd samples - moves into ether, severely ambient atmospherics.  The thing that works in the album's favour is uniform pacing and a steady groove.  While the old Meat Beat Manifesto is dead, the phoenix has risen from the ashes.  A glorious return to form.
No doubt, Beans likes to mess about with arrangements.  His idea for "Only" was to give birth to a series of beats and have those beats reinterpreted acoustically by bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake.  If this sounds a bit wacky that's probably because it is, while execution in itself is very clean and down-to-earth.  My first impression of the record was to mistake this for lounge music that disguises itself as jazz.  On repeat listens, you start to discover a whole new world.  As you listen carefully to Parker's fat bass lines along with Drake's multi-rhythmic percussion tangents, you realize this is a lot more than some sort of a novelty.  This is a true cross-pollination of jazz and hip-hop styling.  While Beans adds shadows of beats and tid-bits of samples, he's strongest on the rhymes.  "4" [all pieces are named with numbers] features slabs of bare rhyming, while an electronic hum-drum beat populates the background, while "118" features a heavy buzz-like sonic feast, where Beans only throws a bit of rhyme near the end.  Perhaps the most satisfying track to jazz purists will be "20", a ten minute bass-drum dialogue.  While "Only" may not be perfect [there are people on either side of the genre fence who'll feel betrayed], it's as close to a true marriage of jazz and hip-hop genres as you're bound to hear all year.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Brasil - Wander Till Spring
+ Dom - Edge of Time
+ Ribot/Taylor/Campbell/Grimes - Spiritual Unity
+ Ananda Shankar - Ananda Shankar
+ Orkiestra pw. św. Mikołaja i Roman Kumłyk i Czeremosz - Huculskie Muzyki
+ Uusitalo - Tukenkantaja
+ Dawid Szczęsny - Unheard Threats
+ Like A Stuntman - Stan Place
+ Shinto - Sekai
+ Guido Schneider - Focus On
+ Sasse - Made Within The Upper Stairs Of Heaven
+ My Robot Friend - Dial O
+ The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
+ Savas Pascalidis - Saigon Nightmare
+ On/Off - We Are On
+ OMR - Superheroes Crash
+ Monolake - Plumbicon Versions
+ Jeff Mills & The National Orchestra Of Montpellier - Blue Potential
+ Lofty znalezione w sekendhendach
+ Living Things - Ahead Of The Lions
+ The Liars - Drum's Not Dead
+ Lesbians On Ecstasy - Lesbians On Ecstasy
+ The Lasergun Compilation Vol. II
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ Inch-Time - As The Moon Draws Water
+ The Hacker - A.N.D. N.O.W.
+ Guther - Sundet
+ Renato Figoli - Serotonin Smile
+ Eccentris: Skin Is In
+ The DFA - Remixes
+ Vath & Rother - Springlove
+ DAT Politics - Wow Twist
+ Codec & Flexor - Killermachine
+ Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Etiquette
+ One Second Bridge - One Second Bridge
+ Blood Music - Sing A Song Fighter!
+ Birdy Nam Nam - Birdy Nam Nam
+ Benni Hemm Hemm - Benni Hemm Hemm
+ Aux 88 - Aux 88
+ Split EP 2

- - - - - - - - -

+ JASPER LEYLAND - Margin
+ WILL HOLSHOUSER TRIO - Singing to a Bee
+ OUTPUTMESSAGE - Nebulae
+ MARCO FERNANDES / HANS FJELLESTAD / HACO / JAKOB RIIS - Haco Hans Jakob Marco
+ SPUNK - En Aldeles Forferdelig Sykdom
+ BRIAN LEBER - Till
+ THE NETHER DAWN - Whiskey Mute-Down
+ RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - Shining Boy & Little Randy / Chasm / Bricolages
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Creative Outlaws:  US Underground 1962 - 1970
+ THEME - Our Angels Dislocated
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - From the Closet to the Charts: Queer Noises 1961 - 1978
+ FUMIO YASUDA - Las Vegas Rhapsody - The Night They Invented Champagne
+ JUANA MOLINA - Son
+ TOMAS PHILIPS / DEAN KING - Á Travers Le Bord
+ SISSY - All Under
+ WIESENDANGER / WEBER / ULRICH - We Concentrate.
+ MORRISSEY - Ringleader of the Tormentors
+ EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO RESEARCH - Worn to a Shadow
+ ADEM - Love and Other Planets / PSAPP - The Only Thing I Ever Wanted
+ JEHRO - Jehro
+ EXTRA GOLDEN - OK-Oyot System
+ GIOVANNI MANCUSO - Alphabet Music / LABORATORIO NOVAMUSICA EXPERIMENTAL UNIT - Compressione Dialettica alla Mente / GIOVANNI MANCUSO - Black Film
+ DAC CROWELL / KURT DOLES - Mercury
+ PETER WRIGHT - Pariahs Sing Om
>> KTU - 8 Armed Monkey / MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO - At the Center / BEANS - Only
+ THE SOUND DIMENSION - Jamaica Soul Shake, Vol. 1
+ INCH-TIME - As The Moon Draws Water
+ POLWECHSEL - Archives of the North
+ TIVOL - Interstellar Overbike
+ LYCIA - The Burning Circle and Then Dust
+ VITOR JOAQUIM - Flow
+ PAULINE OLIVEROS - The Roots of the Momente / Primordial Lift

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Otwarta formuła - Rozmowa z gitarzystą zespołu Plum - Rafałem Piekoszewskim.
+ Pierwotne emocje - Rozmowa z Muńkiem Staszczykiem, wokalistą zespołu T.Love
+ Muzyka dla outsiderów - Rozmowa z wokalistą i gitarzystą zespołu Komety - Lesławem