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OD 1185
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OD 1185
POHJONEN, K. / KOSMINEN, S.: Uniko (Kronos Quartet, Pohjonen, Kosminen)

POHJONEN, K. / KOSMINEN, S.: Uniko (Kronos Quartet, Pohjonen, Kosminen)

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2011


Kimmo Pohjonen


Kronos Quartet

Record Label


Total Time - 51:48
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POHJONEN, K. / KOSMINEN, S.: Uniko (Kronos Quartet, Pohjonen, Kosminen)



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1 I. Utu 6:58
2 II. Plasma 6:16
3 III. Sarma 5:34
4 IV. Kalma 11:01
5 V. Kamala 5:38
6 VI. Emo 10:20
7 VII. Avara 6:01
 Kimmo Pohjonen Soloist

Uniko features Grammy winning Kronos Quartet, Finnish accordion adventurer Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling guru Samuli Kosminen.

Commissioned by Kronos in 2003, 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.

Uniko received its live world première at the Helsinki Festival in 2004, with additional performances in Moscow and Molde (Norway), and three sellout concerts in New York at the 2007 BAM NEXT WAVE Festival. The album was subsequently recorded at Avatar Studios in NYC, produced by Iceland’s Valgeir Sigurðsson who is known for his work with Björk and other outstanding, adventurous artists.

The New York Times reviewed the 2007 live performances in New York: "The music is sheer physicality... Uniko is like an ocean tide coming in. Big waves of sound build in complexity, animation and sometimes sheer frenzy, then abruptly retreat into small lyrical moments, amplified pizzicatos or buzzings by some huge and imaginary insect. Mr. Pohjonen, a virtuoso on an accordion wired for sound, guided things along and became so excited at the end that one worried about his well-being."

"Is there any style of music the Kronos Quartet will not embrace? This time, the globe-trotting group teams up with two Finnish musicians, accordion virtuoso Kimmo Pohjonen and electronics whiz and percussionist Samuli Kosminen. I feel like this music - a Kronos-commissioned seven-movement suite - could be soundtrack for a thriller set during a blizzard in Lapland. The soundscapes build to giant avalanches of strings and electronics, aided by the Finns’ tricked out accordions and sampling. Then poof! We’ve just fallen off the cliff, floating downward in silence."

Thomas Huizenga -  NPR Classical - 27 February 2011

"You have to hear Uniko to believe it but imagine that Phil Spector exploded over the North Atlantic and sent a 90-foot wall of sound hurtling toward Brooklyn."

Jerry Bowles - Sequenza21 - 17 April 2011

"Far from contained within the classical, world music or pop categories - "UNIKO" highlights the exceptional talent and the courageous, exploratory spirit that makes the Kronos Quartet such an indispensable part of the musical landscape. The album is one of their most compelling recent efforts."

Ronni Reich - The New Yorker - 18 March 2011

"Kimmo Pohjonen is not just one of the world’s finest accordion players, he’s a composer of panoramic vision, a consummate stage performer, producer and innovator. We’ve known all this for a long time but with UNIKO his importance in the contemporary music world is now unquestionable... (Pohjonen’s) trademark depth of sound and harmonies lead so naturally towards the Kronos sound on an aural journey that takes the listener on a rare adventure both poignant and chilling."

Fiona Talkington - Songlines - April/May 2011 - Top of the World

"Strings, the accordion, Pohjonen’s voice (used like an instrument) and an electronic soundscape make up a coherent dynamically fasinating and thematically diverse 50-minute piece. The strings are breath-takingly beautiful and equal to all the other elements."

Riikka Hiltunen - Finnish Music Quarterly - 1/2011

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