Jazz Related Improv/Composition • United States
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Yagull is New York post rock chamber project featuring composer/ guitarist Sasha Markovic and pianist extraordinaire / composer Kana Kamitsubo. Following the success of critically acclaimed album "films", the couple keeps extensively writing for the follow up. The duo is often joined on stage by very special guest appearances by some of the finest New York musicians. Album "films" written, arranged and produced by composer/ guitarist Sasha Markovic, features soloists extraordinaire Lori Reddy (flute), Eylon Tushiner (sax) and Sonia Choi (cello). The music on the record is cinematic, theme based, and features twelve original pieces by Markovic, as well as two unique versions of old classics - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Black Sabbath) and White Room (Cream). The album closer Distance brings out the full band sound featuring soloists Reddy and Choi, and a special guest Josh Margolis on drums. The cover photo is a wonderful work of Brooklyn based photographer read more...
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YAGULL Discography

YAGULL albums / top albums

YAGULL Films album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2012
YAGULL Kai album cover 3.95 | 2 ratings
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2014
YAGULL Yuna album cover 3.66 | 3 ratings
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2018

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YAGULL Reviews


Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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kev rowland
I have been fortunate enough to have been living with this album for a couple of months now, and I believe that it is still going to be another couple before it is actually released, but I can’t wait anymore as I have to write about it, as this is simply one of the most beautiful and entrancing albums I have ever come across. This is the third album from Yagull, the first (‘Films’) being Sasha Markovic and some guests, while the second (‘Kai’) was Sasha (guitars, bass, percussion) and his wife Kana Kamitsubo (piano) plus assorted guests. But, although I really enjoyed that album I felt they had missed an opportunity, and said “The interplay between the two musicians in simply beautiful, there is no other word for it, and I would have preferred to have heard an album filled just with their songs, with no other musicians, as there is no need for the purity of their sound to be messed with.”

When Sasha and I made contact, he asked me if I would like to hear the new album, which had just been completed and was incredibly personal to him and Kana. How personal I only found out later, as while ‘Kai’ was named after their son, ‘Yuna’ is named after the child that would have been, as Kana suffered two miscarriages during the period of time it took to record the album, and Yuna was the name they had chosen.

Musically, Sasha and Kana decided this time to concentrate on the interplay between each other, with just a backing singer used on one song: everything else is just the two of them. As previously they have included a cover version of a classic song, but interestingly the one they have chosen this time is a new version of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” which also appeared on the debut, but as Kana wasn’t in the band at that time they have re-recorded it. Apart from that, and “Fall Winter” (which is credited just to Kana), every song was a collaboration between them, sometimes with Sasha credited first and sometimes Kana. “Searching For The Moon” was apparently written when they were asked to just play something during a photo shoot, and took less than five minutes, so they consider it a gift

The delicacy and understanding between the acoustic piano and acoustic guitar, from two musicians who know each other intimately, is too hard to describe. To say that it is a thing of beauty, creating a new world just from carefully selected notes which hang in the air, seems both twee and ineffectual, while this is an album of considerable power and might. Sometimes the notes are rippling streams, while sometimes they just sit there, using space and time to bind them together. There is no desire to hurry, no need to fill the space with unnecessary adornment, everything has its place.

This is an incredibly special album, something that feels very personal indeed, and we have been fortunate enough to be given a glimpse behind the curtain. It almost feels that we are interlopers, listeners who are trespassing on some hidden and private moment which we came across by accident, but couldn’t turn away. Whenever I finish listening to this album I always feel honoured to have been let inside, but also saddened that for most of us the real world isn’t how this music makes me feel. This is truly a wonderful piece of work, and I feel enriched by having heard it.


Album · 2014 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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kev rowland
Some years ago I was lucky enough to come across the debut album from Yagull, ‘Films’. At that point in their career the band was Sasha Markovic on guitars, bass, percussion, voice and keyboards with a few guests on some of the songs. There were a couple of co-writes, two cover versions (incredible takes on “White Room” and “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”) , but the rest were all written by Markovic. I was immediately taken by the acoustic “post-rock chamber soundtrack”, and likened them to Karda Estra. But when they returned with their second album, ‘Kai’, the group had doubled in size to a duo as Markovic had been joined by pianist Kana Kamitsubo, who is also his wife (they names the album and title track after their son, who was born in 2014). This time around there is only one song credited just to Markovic, and sometimes he is credited after his wife, plus there are another couple of covers.

Guests again feature on some of the songs, most notably Moojune artists Beledo and Dewa Budjana, but I found that it is the songs where it is just the two of them where they come across best. There is no need at all for anything special, just an acoustic guitar and piano, played by two people who know each other intimately and can accompany the other in perfect harmony. This is restful music, and when Budjana made his appearance on electric guitar on “Blossom” I was actually quite disappointed. I have been a fan of Budjana’s for years, but to my ears his delicate electric guitar was out of place on this acoustic album. The interplay between the two musicians in simply beautiful, there is no other word for it, and I would have preferred to have heard an album filled just with their songs, with no other musicians, as there is no need for the purity of their sound to be messed with. Again there are two cover versions of classic rock songs, but this time they don’t work quite as well. Of the two, “Wishing Well” is well worth hearing, with some wonderful guitar, but “Burn” doesn’t really gel as it should.

But overall this is still an incredible album, and if they trust themselves and record a full album of their own material, with no outside “help”, then the next one could be very, very special indeed.


Album · 2012 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
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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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