Onur Hunuma - Lumina - (8/10)
Published on May 21, 2019
“Lumina” is an instrumental album by Turkish guitarist and composer Onur Hunuma and a good example of quality DIY music. One man projects can end up being overly pretentious displays of ego, so I find it very satisfying when such an album is built with decency and Onur definitely didn’t try to blow anything out of proportion and kept his ideas on track. The music is balanced, refreshing and a pleasant listen that can easily be referred to as a little instrumental story. I think the keywords to describe Lumina are “tasteful and elegant”.
The album kicks off with the orchestral intro “Shiva Shakti” and a slightly oriental vibe. It’s a very good introduction, presenting what is a big part of Lumina. The sampled elements take the spotlight in the intro and outro and play an important role in the rest of the album as well. It creates a cinematic feel and I was surprised how many different sounds he used. I was able to distinguish piano, strings, wind instruments, some tribal percussion, electronic sounds and even bells (could be tubular bells…). I may be wrong about some but either way the sampling is genuinely captivating and creates rich vivid soundscapes. When the metal elements come on top, I felt like the album’s atmosphere finds itself somewhere between Tibetan wisdom and artificial intelligence. I think the album cover depicts this vibe very well too. The guitars are not too heavy, favoring smooth melodies over technicality and have a clean processed sound. I like that it doesn’t overshadow the samples and the album’s mix is nicely done, allowing every instrument to be heard even when there are lots of layers. The guitars are complimenting each other constantly with either a rhythm and a melody, or even double harmonized leads. There are also some slightly progressive influences in there.
A few moments deserve special mention. The fourth track “Acquatic” throws a curveball with the acoustic beginning and it’s the only one with actual sung clean vocals. There are also some spoken parts on “The Origin” and on “Blood Red Hiroshima”. The latter also features a guest guitar performance from “Oliver Sattler” of Darkest Horizon. It’s probably the most dynamic track on the album and a very welcome shift in pace. To me “Lumina” was an easily enjoyable listen and it’s very good at taking you to realms of your imagination but does a great job just creating atmosphere as well. Do check it out!