Well, here is yet another great project from Francesco Zago (Yugen) with help from Markus Stauss (Spaltklang). Based around an idea that took shape during the recording sessions for Yugen's "labirinto d'aqua", Kurai is a mixture of individual compositions (mostly by Zago) and collective improvisations. This is certainly the 'dark side' of Yugen. Musically it is very hard to describe in words, but I will try. Dark, majestic, abrasive & challenging are the adjectives that spring to mind most readily. Sonically it hints at the early German experimental rock recordings of the late 60s & early 70s. Bands like Limbus 4, early Tangerine Dream, Annexus Quam and Xhol come to mind in the quieter sections. John Zorn can probably lay claim to influencing the more 'avant jazz/improv' sections and early avant composers like Kagel & Stockhausen are felt as well. Some sections compare very favorably to some of Henry Cow's avant improvisations or some of the more "out there" stuff by Samla Mammas Manna. This is what great improvisation and great avant composition is all about! The best is that, though many sections are clearly improvised and others certainly written, for much of the time the listener will not be sure whether he/she is hearing improvisation or not. The instrumentation is harp, piano, percussion, bass & contrabass clarinet, acoustic bass, electric guitar & mellotron(!), and Markus Stauss on soprano,tenor & bass saxophones. Stephan Bruner (of Spaltklang) guests on electric bass on one track as does a fellow named Marco Sorge on clarinet. HIGHLY recommended to fans of the experimental and avant-garde.