Kimmo Pohjonen, accordion
Samuli Kosminen, string & accordion samples, programming
Kronos Quartet

Crossover / Jazz



Digipak with full colour booklet in English


February 2011

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1185-2


Track listing

CD 51:49
Kimmo Pohjonen & Samuli Kosminen
Uniko 51:49
1 Utu 6:58
2 Plasma 6:16
3 Särmä 5:34
4 Kalma 11:01
5 Kamala 5:38
6 Emo 10:20
7 Avara 6:01

Press review

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

Unikoa kannatti odottaa.
Risto Nevanlinna, Suomen Kuvalehti, 1.4.2011

Olen kuunnellut tätä levyä viime viikkoina enemmän kuin mitään toista.

Jussi Niemi, Aamulehti, 25.3.2011

Faszinierend und auch ein wenig beängstigend: "Uniko" ist ein Unikat.
Stefan Franzen, Jazz thing, 23. März 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

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, 27.2.2011

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

Viisikymmentä minuuttia on juuri sopiva kesto tälle komeasti soivalle prosessimaiselle teokselle, joka on Pohjosen ja Kosmisen saavutuksista uniikein.
Harri Uusitorppa, Helsingin Sanomat, 19.2.2011

Complete description

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."

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