Dugo is the experiment on how to combine the sound of rock guitar influenced by modern Spanish flamenco that he think is the culmination of guitar music with modern electronic sound in an organic form, and it represents the soundscape of his inner image and the landscape he has seen.
He has played the guitar in a prog rock band called Happy Family in the late 90s, and at the same time played the role of a producer of the band. He worked on two albums, which were released by Cuneiform Records in the US.
After the band broke up, he managed to build a bedroom studio and began to learn to make music using computers and digital audio. He didn’t meet almost anyone while he was focusing on that for a year. While doing so, he happened to get an offer to make a remix for a J-Pop group called PAMELAH. It was his first job as a professional music creator. Since then, he has worked on a number of productions for major artists in Japanese music industry as a remixer, arranger, and sometimes a producer.
Working as a professional musician didn’t mean he had to give up on being active as an artist. He started his solo project around this time and named the project Dugo, which means blood or family in the Tagalog language.
One day in 2005, one of his friends invited him to some secret club party in Tokyo as a guest. He happened to get an opportunity to talk with Ian Pooley, who was also invited to the party as a DJ from Germany, and he gave him a demo CD-R. Two months later, he got an offer from Pooled Music, which was a label run by Ian Pooley, to release Dugo's album. He gladly accepted the offer, but even though he completed 10 songs for the album, the distribution company that was the biggest in the EU went bankrupt at the last minute.
Consequently, the album release was abandoned, because Pooled Music was working with that distribution company, and it was very difficult to make a new contract with another distribution company for a new unknown artist in such a confused situation in the music industry in Europe. Dugo had to give up on releasing the album.
Such an unlucky event made him feel discouraged, but then the track 'Dublin' was unexpectedly picked up to be used for CSI: Miami Season 3 in 2006, thanks to Freibank Music Publishing from Germany. As a result, he became involved in music production for the media. Among them, the opportunities to compose video game music increased, and he gradually became known as a video game composer.
Although he was successfully working as a video game composer, the tsunami that hit Japan and the disaster at the nuclear power plant in 2011 changed his policy. Since then, he has devoted his resources to working as an artist again. He started Happy Family again after 1998, then released the third album in 2014.
After the second hibernation of Happy Family, he finally released Dugo’s first album 'Lingua Franca' through Brave Wave Productions in 2017, where he collaborated with Italian classical musicians and a Canadian violinist.
Though it tended to be slow, he had been proceeding the production for Dugo, while working as a video game composer at the same time. However, after being infected with COVID-19 in April and surviving, He seriously has restarted Dugo, becoming to focus on what matters most in his remaining life.
Finally, the latest EP ‘Recluse’ was released on October 9, 2020. The tracks in this EP were written partially when he was suffering from COVID-19. Now that many musicians are trying to change their activity to be able to adapt to the situation of post-COVID-19, his resumption of the work as Dugo, an independent artist, can be a symbolic expression of that.
Dugo (Takahiro Izutani)’s tracks