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Uniko

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 1, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

UNIKO features the Grammy winning Kronos Quartet together with a Finnish duo, accordion adventurer Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling guru Samuli Kosminen. Produced by Iceland's Valgeir Sigurosson, known for his collaboration with Bjork, this album was recorded at Avatar Studios in NYC.
UNIKO was commissioned by Kronos in 2003 and premiered live at the Helsinki Festival in 2004. It has subsequently drawn sellout audiences in Moscow, Molde (Norway), and New York at the 2007 BAM NEXT WAVE Festival. UNIKO is highlighted by Pohjonen's electrified and MIDI-fied accordion with Kosminen's electronic percussion devices which reproduce his own accordion samples and his samples of Kronos' instruments. These samples, together with live strings and electric accordion plus effects and manipulations create a new, multi-dimensional sound world.

Review

Uniko is like an ocean tide coming in. Big waves of sound build in complexity, animation and sometimes sheer frenzy... --The New York Times
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Product Details

  • Performer: David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt, Jeffrey Zeigler
  • Composer: Kimmo Pohjonen, Samuli Kosminen
  • Audio CD (February 1, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ondine
  • ASIN: B004GX91Q6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,160 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There is famous remark somewhere criticizing Mozart for his good taste. It's unfair about Mozart, but it applies a bit to this, which is in every respect impeccable - I suspect I'll listen to it a lot, and enjoy it. But, you know, impeccability can be a problem: a faintly oppressive air of good taste hangs about Uniko (starting with the cover) that somehow pulls it back into the domain of up-market chill-out music in the end (a bit like Floodplain). Very up-market chill-out, but still.

Nevertheless, for Sunday afternoons, you could do a lot worse.
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Amazing.
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Nice music, but I expected something less cliché.
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I had the good fortune to be assigned to review some of Pohjonen's earlier works for (now out of publication) Darren Bergstein's EI Magazine several years ago. Needless to say, the work was as remarkable then as now. Relentlessly inventive, splendid in violent and sudden contrasts, logical as well as unpredictable shifts, Pohjonen is equally at home with anything and everything sound encompasses: the exploration of timbres, time, pitches, silences and staggeringly dense walls of sound made into a seamless and terrifyingly present whole. Uniko seems a sort of culmination of controlled furies and unmentionable delicacies. The posture and often even the tonality call to mind some perhaps unexpected likenesses with the more incandescent instants from the very creamy center of the progressive rock days: flashes of Tony Hill's High Tide finding receptors between the uneven measures of Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I. While both stand somewhere in the shadows of this monumentally complex and exhilarating recording, the defining trait is simple enough: moving from rock to art music is perhaps a less profound path than the opposite. Uniko isn't just a bridge between the profound intelligence of the classical world and the sometimes ragged emotional edges of the progressive rock aesthetic: it's a continent of unlimited horizons and, until this moment, unknowable terrain.
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