Archive for the ‘kluster’ Category

more pohjonen

March 17, 2008


it has been a while since my first kimmo pohjonen post. in the meantime i have seen the man twice. and i will go and see him again if i’ll have the chance. the first time i was just overwhelmed – the music, the performance – you don’t want to miss a thing because it is so exciting. he takes you on a trip from quiet to nostalgic to tribal to out there and back. and when it is over you are not exhausted, but exhilarated and elevated.

and the second time you see him you are more calm – you suddenly become aware of the details, of the connections to different styles of music and its re-contextualizing. suddenly a lot makes sense. again. after all the accordeon is a typical instrument for a lot of different european folklore. a folklore that in many regions tended to become stale, to serve a faux nostalgia of a past that never happened, that is imagined as something actually quite exclusive, pretending to come out of a local identity that can only be defended through ignoring exactly the specific local identity and its history. but maybe i expect to much of folklore? as with a lot of popular music, it seems it just has become a product (and one of the most successfull musical products, commercially). but back to kimmo pohjonen: listening to him using his accordeon, his voice and live sampling is in that sense a revelation: all these elements of european (but not only european) music suddenly make sense again. he infuses them with a musical relevance again which makes you want to go home and actually listen to old musette, polka or (finnish) tango: he enables you to not only enjoy his music and performance, but through his music and performance giving you a new perspective on what accordeon music is, he also gives you a new access beyond “his” music – by him being so extraordinarly musical, he opens your ears to music in general in a new way. yes, he left quite an impression on me.

if that all sounds very complicated: it’s not. part of his virtuosity is that it is accessible on several levels. just looking at his live performance as a performance is already an experience. i mean: a big accordeon treated in different ways is already visually rather stunning. he obviously knows why he plays and presents his music in the way he does – it all makes sense. and he wants to seduce you (and he manages that quite easily, judging by the publics reaction), he wants to show you the beauty of music, to take you on a trip. and what makes it especially nice is his rather humble attitude: it’s about the music and you taking pleasure in the music. and as a listener you feel at ease: you can listen quietly or you can voice your enthusiasm very vocal – both seems appropriate…

so yes, i obviously recommend urge you to see him live.


in the meantime i propose you have a listen – this time not mister pohjonen on his own (after all he is also involved in several collaborations), but together with samuli kosminen under the name of kluster. and besides being a really good record it was obvious for me that i wanted to post this record already for its cover – hmmm…. yep, i am looking forward to see them once live and just hope that samuli will perform topless. hey – visuals are important!

so – here you get kimmo pohjonen – kluster. for more information, more pics and most important: information on his upcoming live-performances, please visit his website. and now enjoy!