Dugo – Lingua Franca


“Dugo is my life’s work. I think many of the people who purchased this album are video game music fans, and you can indeed find some affinity between my work for Dugo and my compositions for video games.”

Why would fans of Dugo‘s latest album Lingua Franca be predominantly video game music fans? Why because Dugo is the working alias for composer Takahiro Izutani. This is the man who, in part, gave us the music of games like Bayonetta,  and  Metal Gear Solid 4. And it does show throughout this album. Not in a glaring way, by any means, but the decade of work put into this wonderful collection of creative, instrumental pieces really has permeated into Izutani’s video game work.

Takahiro_Izutani_07Takahiro Izutani being predominantly an eminent guitar player, brings to bear his string work in a very vivacious, and victorious way. Even the dynamic programming of the digital strings…it is incredible. The feeling one gets when one listens to a composer with such a pedigree; such incredible experience, is overwhelming. Such nuance, and grace are so wonderfully evident…and sometimes not evident at all, and repeated listening is required t pick up on even greater detail one did not notice nor expect at first.

Takahiro_Izutani_03This electronically elating album is truly a beautiful piece of work. There is such diversity with regards to the ambient fills, and pads; with the breaking beats; and especially the glamourous guitar. If one were to stab at how best to describe this melange of masterful music, one couldn’t really join together many other artists together to compare. If one took Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy fame), Matt Uelmen (of Diablo fame), and Takahiro’s own unique sounds, boiled them down to their simplest form, then restructured this amazing mix to create a simply complicated compendium of work that spanned ten years of composition…welcome to Dugo’s Lingua Franca.

Gliding Bird‘, and ‘Sol Poniente‘ are by far this reviewer’s favourite tracks. Why? Well there is that element of Final Fantasy, and Diablo cinematic, and game play…but that element serves only as an undertone that may be recognized, though it is not the feature by any means. Dugo has created here a seminal collection of music that would serve well to the would-be listener of any age, or occupation.

Takahiro_Izutani_05Personally a part of a stage combat community working for stage and screen, I can imagine just how well much of this music will work for both workout and, relaxation, and scenes both on stage and on screen. The power of these tracks…even as I listen to the album again (for the fifth time in a row) I find myself altering my favourites…and then just accepting the power of the album as a whole.

To the gamer who wants to hear what they consider some classic Izutani: you will have your share. And to the lover of instrumental, inspirational, and innovative compositions: all are brought to bear.

One simply must give this incredible collection a thorough listening. Such care was taken to deliver a beautifully constructed collection of swelling emotion that to simply pass this album off without some degree of due diligence, would just be a travesty.

You can check out Lingua Franca in its entirety, right over HERE: and do check it out – you will not be disappointed. To keep up to date with Takahiro Izutani’s work as Dugo, click right over HERE.