KTU is a double duo consisting of Kimmo Pohjonen on accordion and Samuli Kosminen on samples (who perform together as Kluster) and monster rhythm section Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto (who perform as TU). 8 Armed Monkey is the result of a handful of live shows performed in Tokyo in April of 2004. Pohjonen has played with traditional Finnish artists like Maria Kalaniemi and Ottopasuuna and brings some of those traditional elements to the table, especially on "Sineen" and "Keho," but he's just as likely to apply more avant-garde playing as well. Gunn and Mastelotto are practically an eight-armed monkey themselves, with Gunn's amazing technique on the Warr touch guitar (often sounding like two players himself) and Mastelotto's combination of drums and triggered sounds. Ironically, despite the futuristic sounds and triggers, Mastelotto's playing here has a tribal quality about it. Gunn turns in a wicked solo over a meaty groove on "Absinthe" and propels "Optikus" into the stratosphere. Credited with "vocal samples" and "accordion samples," Kosminen adds another futuristic element (as well as some humor), and between his samples, Pohjonen's treated (?) accordion, and Mastelotto's electro-acoustic rig, it gets pretty dense and, at times, pretty tough to tell who's doing what. Equally impressive is the fact that they pulled this off live.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard