Japanese electronic artist Dugo dropped an ultramodern album earlier this year, and it’s one of the finest alternative records westerner’s are probably unfamiliar with.
Takahiro Izutani, Dugo’s brainchild, is a veteran rock guitarist, having performed with the very recognizable act, Happy Family. After his time with the legendary group, Izutani spent years scoring cinema and video games, like CSI: Miami and Metal Gear Solid 4, respectively.
Gamers are also likely to recognize Takahiro Izutani’s musical contributions in other entries of the Metal Gear Solid franchise and Bayonetta series, among others.
Dugo’s full-length album Lingua Franca is an exhilarating amalgam of Takahiro Izutani’s years of mellifluous adventures.
The lead track, “Sunburst,” greets and trains the listening audience for a voyage across methodically composed notation. Not unlike the beaming affection soaked up by the listener while playing the track, the title itself elicits grand imagery, warm at its core, surrounded by a dazzling exterior.
A side note – knowing the person behind Dugo is a master guitarist, I kept thinking of sunburst style guitars while imagining what the influence for “Sunburst” was.
Lingua Franca is like discovering a new planet, full of majestic islands and immense beauty at every angle. Even when the album shifts into dramatic territories, journey-goers are calmed with soothing atmospherics, returning everything back to center amid its brilliance.
The last note of the tragically handsome finale, “Ruin,” ends with a lone note, ushering reparations to the listener’s emotionally tiresome adventure, giving them praise for completion whilst delivering a firm “thanks.”
Lingua Franca is delightful, exploring scales untouched by others. Auditors craving experimental music with first-rate structure, production and resonance should pick up Lingua Franca and listen to it in the best possible environment available to them. Not doing so insults the audience and composer simultaneously.
Listening carefully may remind gamers of their favorite RPG while film buffs might identify themes and motifs from celebrated film scores. Seizing these short moments during Lingua Franca ostensibly unravels outside influences with impressive subtly. Such moments reveal Izutani is as much listener as he is symphonist.
All-in-all, Dugo’s Lingua Franca is an outstanding treasury of contemporary music, well thought out in all areas of its production, captivating from start to finish.
Dugo’s Lingua Franca released on January 27, 2017 and is available on digital, limited edition compact disc, and signed vinyl.
Start listening for free below.