Japanese musical artist Takahiro Izutani, known in the music world as Dugo, has been recognized for his extraordinary classical guitar work since the 90s, and for his technically brilliant electronica composition and production. His 2006 song “Dublin” was featured in CSI: Miami and he is also known for his work on the video games Metal Gear: Solid and Bayonetta. This January he released his seminal EP as a solo artist, called Lingua Franca. The album, which is being lauded as a definitive work, combines Dugo’s two passions of classical guitar and experimental electronica.
A preview spinoff single not included on Lingua Franca is called “Higher Ground”, and it is a crash course in Dugo’s one-of-a-kind experimental fusion style. The electronic beat is, surprisingly, UK garage, which must have been a challenge to match with the other elements of the track. These elements are largely jazz fusion, and the track actually begins with said garage beat being played on an analog drum with jazz whisks. This would be a difficult feat because of the speed garage is played at, usually around 140 BPM. The guitar on this track is simple but of a jazz fusion bent, but Dugo adds even more fusion with both ravey and jazz-inspired synths. There is also a rave-inspired digital guitar track layered over the acoustic guitar.
By the end of “Higher Ground, so much has happened that all the listener can do is marvel at its composition and precision. Dugo is truly a groundbreaking experimental fusion artist, but in a completely unexpected way. Lingua Franca can be streamed or purchased on the Brave Wave Productions Bandcamp page.
Written by Layla Marino
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