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Now Hear This: Lingua Franca - Dugo

Rating: ****

Must Listen: Sunburst, Gliding Bird, Boat on The River

Skip: Two Sides

Dugo is the brainchild of Takahiro Izutani, formerly of the instrumental rock band “Happy Family.” Dugo is best known for their break-beat style and having the song Dublin in an episode of CSI: Miami over a decade ago. Relevance can be a cruel mistress. That said, when I saw this album pass through my inbox I was excited to see what Dugo had been up to. So let’s stop talking about the past and look to the present with my review of Dugo’s latest, “Lingua Franca.”

Give "Lingua Franca a test drive below:

We get started with a track called Sunburst. It’s got a cool ambient vibe to it. Add some mystical shaman chants to the background and you’re in for a haunting-but-chill experience. Really strong opening here. The Sun and A Dusty Road is next and it’s got a different vibe altogether. A lot of stopping and starting in quick succession. Dugo’s break-beat rep is on point here. Cool track. Track 3 is Gliding Bird and it changes things up again. This one sets a peaceful tone, breaking away from the chaotic energy of the track just before it. There’s a break about 3 minutes in before a big crescendo bridge piece that really makes the song pop. Another solid cut. Sol Poniente sounds like the theme to an awesome 80’s kung-fu flick. That’s always a solid sound for me. I love old kung-fu flicks (Enter the Dragon is playing in the other room currently, FYI). Momentum is next and it has a smoother, sexier feel to it than the other tracks thus far. Not my favorite, but far from bad. Track 6 is called Singularity and it starts with some amazing finger-picked guitar before it charges into a mid-tempo trance beat. Hypnotic. Two Sides is another change in tone. The beat sounds panic-stricken. You might even find your heartbeat accelerate from this one. Xanax please. Boat on The River is a joy. Dreamy and surreal sounding. My favorite track on the album. The album ends on the track, Ruin. Slower in tempo, it almost sounds like the end credits to a murder-mystery. A solid ending to an excellent record.

If you like electronic music at all, I highly recommend Dugo’s “Lingua Franca.” Not a single track sounds like the other (a rarity in the ambient music genre) creating just the right pacing to keep you engaged front-to-back. Really, really strong effort.

Dugo is Takahiro Izutani (acoustic guitar, programming)

Produced by: Brave Wave Production

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