Japanese electronic music visionary Dugo has gifted us with instrumental gold in his latest full length album, ‘Lingua Franca’ and as someone who truly appreciates some good ol’ breakbeat and beautiful composition, I was more than impressed to have found it.
The electronic scene as it stands today is flooded with the likes of techno, deep house, EDM, and other hard-hitting stuff, so it isn’t every day that I come across musical projects like ‘Lingua Franca’, and when I hear an album like this, it reminds me just how powerful music can be.
Dugo marries instrumentals and electronic production in a way that is truly extraordinary, and the finished product is a melodic masterpiece that evokes emotion in a way similar to that of the music of some of the greatest composers of the 21st Century.
‘Lingua Franca’ starts off strong with a powerful piece that incorporates tribal elements, strong breaks, and a robust rhythm that exudes force, while still managing to be gentle. Track after track brings us the same level of quality production, although the scene set by each piece carries its own unique identity.
Dugos’ music definitely carries a rock influence, which could probably be attributed to the fact that he has been playing guitar in an instrumental rock band Happy Family since the late 90’s. This influence is especially present in the single ‘The Sun and a Dusty Road’.
One of my favorite pieces on this album has to be ‘Sol Poniente’, as it features a beautiful arrangement of violin and other strings that move me into a place of deep thought, inspiration, and reflection. This, coupled with the deep rhythm and intensity of the song take it from a simple composition to a comprehensive narrative for me, and when listening to it, an entire story unfolds in my head without so much as a thought.
Side note: The break that starts to build at 2:50 on ‘Momentum’ was a serious wow moment for me, a twist that was totally unexpected, beautifully hard hitting, and rhythmically deep, deep, deeeeeeep.
The album has no shortage of quirkiness and individuality, with pieces like ‘Two Sides’ showing a more sinister, mysterious side of Dugo, illustrating his ability to create a variety of moods with his music.
If you like Bonobo, Massive Attack, or The Cinematic Orchestra, you will love what Dugo has managed to give us with ‘Lingua Franca’. Give it a listen below.