Yagull – Kai Album Review

A lot of progressive music relies on the interface between human capabilities and the unlimited scope of the electronic world. New York based act Yagull minimalise the voltage based tweeze and instead rely on an expanded compositional approach and a unique (to the genre) instrumental line up: acoustic guitar and piano.

Taking away the often times bombastic soundscape that heavy use of outboard gear allows gives band mainstays Sasha Markovic and Kana Kamitsubo the opportunity to create a world of both introspection and intimate appeal. These are songs that invite you to get inside them, like the feeling of wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night.

The band’s duo core is supplemented by a plethora of guests that further expand the scope of the proceedings. Dewa Budjana and Anthony Mullin’s guitar work and Wen Chang’s violin are just a few of the stellar additions and add further textural revelations.

The version of Free’s Wishing Well is particularly enlightening and their reinvention of such a familiar melody with strong piano chords and subtle plucked and bowed notes is startling. So weather it’s the wide open west expansion on Sound Of M, the classical gas take of Deep Purple’s Burn or the swing sway of North, this is a work of constant surprise and engagement.

Being truly progressive relies on an open-minded approach where there are no expectations that can’t be ignored and no compositional leaps that can’t be cleared.  Reinvention or revelation, Kai is inviting in both extremes.

Rob Hudson