ancient music chiptune Dubstep electronica orchestral review traditional trap world world music

Kairi – Autumn Rose Review

Kairi, in his own words, creates Asian Hybrid Orchestral music. To add my own words on, Kairi takes traditional Asian instruments in a symphonic arrangement and then places the whole thing on the dance floor. Either description fits but neither quite showcases how awesome the combination of these three worlds are.

‘Autumn Rose’ is Kairi’s second album in as many years and this album as about a quest for a husband to save his wife whose been turned into a rose by a curse in ancient Japan. This means we hear all kinds of traditional Japanese instruments that then breaks out into dub-step, trap, electronica and retro/future chip tune sections. It’s beautiful from the lamenting piano sections of ‘A Dark Chill’ that open the album through to the rolling taiko drums and dubstep moments of ‘Descendance‘. The beautiful woodwind of ‘Chira Chira’ flows effortlessly with the zithers and bells before exploding into an ’80s charged synth-wave experience. It sounds nuts but it flows so effortlessly into each other – its seamless.


Unlike some cheesy attempts of world music that just hug a tradition at surface level, Kairi continues to innovate and merge it with modern day tech. The upbeat celestial chimes of ‘Endless Forest’ feels like a game soundtrack piece, whilst ‘Heart’ is dramatic, charged, poised and ready to attack with its lush symphony of strings, flutes and horse hooves. In the album’s quieter moments, there’s a blissful chip tune synth wave section with ‘Shattered Blood’ and ‘Remembering Her Name’ that give the album its needed ebb and flow. On the flip-side the bounce of the shamisen makes ‘Adrift in the Leaves’ dynamic and angered. Across all 12 tracks, there’s something to sink your teeth into, with out the jazzy closer ‘Reunited’ sounding vaguely western in any way.

Kairi has created something fantastic with his merger of genres and ideas. I feel like I’m in a techno ancient world reliving a tale of fortune, battle and love. It’s a euphoric achievement and one that I’ll have on repeat alongside his equally excellent debut ‘Spirit of the East’ from last year. Superb.

Recommended track: Heart

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If you have this release, you can comment with your own score below.

Kairi - Autumn Rose



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