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World Music CD Reviews North American


By Jill Ettinger
Published June 27, 2006

8 Armed Monkey
Thirsty Ear

Okay, let’s face it. All music is, at its core, essentially just noise, structured to varying degrees. There’s no real escaping that fact, no matter how melodious or harmonically complex the noise may be. It is therefore apropos to this prolific craft of “sound-ing” that chaotic gurgling, animal squeals and often disturbing harmonies find their way onto records—the proverbial yin meets yang. Though it’s hardly mainstream listening, there is a whole world of seemingly harsh and un-poetic clamor available for the thirsty ears that find this music less than painful. On this disc, members of King Crimson (Trey Gunn, Pat Mastelotto) meet Kluster’s Samuli Kosminen and Kimmo Pohjonen to form KTU (pronounced K-two). Their first collaboration, 8 Armed Monkey, results in a highly experimental collision of improvisational power, richly decorated with filigree but generally undefined as to any larger purpose. Clashing orchestration hints at intention, but the end result is fatigue from trying to sift order out of the booming reverb and screeching electronics. While all music may be noise, clearly all noise is not music.