Yagull - Kai

(CD 2015, 53:04, Moonjune Records MJR067)

The tracks:
  1- North(5:33)
  2- Dark(6:58)
  3- Heiwa(3:18)
  4- Blossom(5:06)
  5- Mio(5:20)
  6- Wishing Well(4:39)
  7- Burn(3:55)
  8- Sound Of M(4:31)
  9- Z-Parrow(1:50)
10- Kai(4:05)
11- Omniprism(5:50)
12- Oyasumi(1:54)

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After the previous album Films (2012, see review), duo Yagull returns to the scene with their successor called Kai. The acoustic duo; Sasha Markovic on guitar, bass and percussion and his partner, pianist Kana Kamitsubo still create a sort of chamber soundtrack music, which is perfectly suitable to obscure film noirs. This time the duo has added slightly more musicians to their guest list, Beledo plays classical, electric and bass guitar on Omniprism and lute during the Deep Purple cover Burn. Record label mate Dewa Budjana adds his distinguished guitar sound to Blossom. These are just the most noticeable names, but there are plenty.

Nevertheless, the music itself still focusses on the very pleasant sounding combination of acoustic piano and the acoustic guitar. The album's opener North is a great sample of the fine atmosphere that can be created by a simple guitar accompanied by a smooth piano. An intense composition is the result. During the whole album this pleasant feeling keeps on returning, like in the song Heiwa, or the album's title track Kai and Sound Of M. The latter has a nice harmonica part, that gently moves the song towards an Americana style. One of the covers on the album is Wishing Well, originally by the band Free, this composition sees the addition of a violin, which perfectly suits to the way this song has been Yagulled. Anthony Mullin's guitar solo at the end of the song takes you back to the original feel of the song and therefore is a nice addition. The other cover we can hear is the afore mentioned Burn; well known to every music loving person. This one has a bit of a twist in my ears; in the beginning the song has a classical, even flamenco touch, but when the main melody takes over the song goes into the opposite direction. A piano part that reminds me of the old cartoon Charlie Brown's tune Linus And Lucy. Let's call Burn a special adaption, which is incomparable to other interpretations.

Sometimes less is more. This goes for the album Kai, the compositions are kept very basic when it comes to the use of instruments. Although the duo added numerous additional guest musicians, for me the songs that are minimalistic; pure with just one guitar and a sole piano, the ones that impressed me the most.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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