'Light and Darkness'
A review for Jordi Kuragari's new album 'Traveller'
Kuragari is Japanese for ’darkness’ and probably one of many ways to describe the soundscapes and spheric guitar-laden compositions of multi-instrumentalist and producer Jordi Kuragari.
Having started to play guitar and compose music at the age of 13 and making music his full time job in the present day, Jordi knows a thing or two about the craft. For years he played in several different bands, performed live all over Berlin and in other German cities.
Despite the overwhelming amount of time dedicated to performing and producing other bands, he still found a spot to write and record his own album entitled ’Traveller’. Some of the song ideas on the record are several years old and as the title suggests, he in part found inspiration by travelling around Europe.
His many musical explorations and experience with other bands and musicians are clearly present on the album, which he himself performed and produced with the help of Mike Nuhn who mastered the tracks.
A haunting recurring theme can be heard in the first few seconds as an introduction for “Traveller’’.
The album begins with the epic ’’Anywhere But Here’’ which starts off with rather quiet, almost mystical guitar arpeggios and ends up in a climax of battling distorted guitars.
It is followed by ’’Just like a Puppet’’, the first single off the album which is Jordi’s outlet of a very personal experience through addictive rock riffs and licks.
Next up is the rock n’ roll hymn ’’I Don’t Mind’’ which is set out to be played loud and sung along by a huge crowd in large stadiums.
An acoustic folk song could not be missed on an album like this; ’’Under my Umbrella’’ is Jordi’s version of this folk song.
Not long after we are drawn back into the darkness with the instrumental spheres of ’’Bounced’’ where you can hear Jordi’s characteristic guitar techniques. It ends with a heavy-riff and is immediately followed by the stoner-rock anthem ’’What are you thinking?’’ which morphs into a more progressive area as the song develops.
We get to cool off and calm down with the sounds of ’’London Traveller’’, more or less the title-track of the album, which tells the story of the traveller himself, as he walks in the streets of London in deep thought.
Just when we thought we had found a bit of light, we slip right back into obscurity with ’’The Darkest Night’’ which starts off with field recordings and progresses with synth pads and Jordi’s atmospheric guitar playing, accompanied by a haunting beat. The track peaks with heavy guitars and bombshell drums.
’’On My Own’’ in which the traveller starts finding his way, is yet another rock riff aria in the style of Jordi Kuragari.
Ambient synths and a mellow programmed beat opens ’’Faith is a Journey’’, a track which seems to summarize the theme of the album.
The recurring theme makes yet another appearance at the beginning of the instrumental’’In these Woods’’ which is secretly a combination of ’’Just like a Puppet’’ and ’’Anywhere but Here’’... in a good and captivating way.
’’Let It Go’’ is the last song on the record telling us to ’let go, move on and to not worry anymore’. This concluding track leaves us with the feeling of having been on a true journey, a journey that Jordi himself experienced in the flesh.
Jordi’s hommage to another passion of his, which is Japanese culture are two instrumentals: The Soundtrack-like ’Kodama’ (Echo/Treespirit) and the classical guitar piece ’Hotaru’ (Firefly). These rich instrumentals don’t just give the album an interesting touch of actually being on an exotic journey to foreign lands, but they also define Jordi as being more than just a guitarist or a composer.
The album is now available through his website.
Previews can he heard here.