YAGULL — Films (review)

YAGULL — Films album cover Album · 2012 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
kev rowland
Yagull is an acoustic project that has been put together by Sasha Markovic (acoustic and electric guitar) together with Lori Reddy (flute), Sonia Choi (cello), Eylon Tushiner (sax) and Josh Margolis (drums). Now, I was already familiar with Yagull as they have a song on the Moonjune compilation that is available through Bandcamp, a wonderful version of “White Room” so when I was looking at the CD I checked out the the song at number 10 that completely took me by surprise.

Back when I was 11 or 12, I was around a friend’s house and we went into the den to have a look at his brother’s records. Neither of had heard of any of the names, bands like Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Yes, Edgar Winters, Pretty Things etc. Of course back then the covers and artwork were things of beauty and based on nothing else apart from what they looked like we chose two to play. The first was ‘Free For All’ by Ted Nugent, and the second was ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’. We were so enamoured with the latter that it was hard to get the title song off the player, and we even ‘borrowed’ the album to play the song in our music class at school. It is no exaggeration then to say that this one song had a huge impact on my musical enlightenment (and needless to say we then played every album his brother owned to expand our knowledge, much to his annoyance).

So, track 10, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”. I was very good when I played the album first time in that I didn’t go straight to it but instead played it all the way through, but coming back to it time and again I have to say that for me it is the standout song, probably due to my own relationship to the original. The first thought I had when playing it was “I never realized that it was so beautiful”. Ozzy’s vocals have been replaced by delicate acoustic guitars as have the rest of the band – this is in reality a multi-tracked solo piece by Sasha that has to be heard to be believed. The original has been deconstructed but it is still there, instantly recognizable to the fan, but transformed into something quite different.

‘Films’ is a great title for this album, as it is very cinematic in feel and if I was to compare it to anything else it would have to be with the wonderful Karda Estra although the approach here is quite different and in many ways even more laid-back. The label describes this album as “next generation post-rock chamber music” and while I am not quite sure where they are going with that, if they mean that it is an acoustic album of depth and great beauty then they are bang on.
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