New Album ‘Niño’ by Juracán

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Dominican Republic, Pierre Carbuccia now resides in the Portland, Oregon area and has rechristened himself Juraćan for his fourth release Niño. Carbuccia adopted his new moniker as a way of reflecting abusive childhood experiences and the self-recrimination that followed – the word’s origins are in ancient Tainos culture and, in time, transformed into the Spanish word for hurricane. Even a cursory listen to Niño reveals a musician and composer with an obvious wide breadth of musical skills coupled with a cinematic imagination. It is no stretch to say Juraćan hears sound and patterns therein in much the same way others perceive color. He aspires to tackle weighty themes like sorrow, joy, and childhood through Niño’s eight songs and relatively short running times of each track provides focused brevity invoking each theme without any self indulgence.


“Llorar, Nacer” isn’t brief, later songs are shorter, but nonetheless works as a sort of introductory statement for what follows. The electronica of the song’s first half definitely has a comparatively brighter character than the second and the composition’s conclusion feels mired in gray melancholy. It is notable how well artfully Juraćan expands the song’s “storytelling” possibilities within such a relatively short running time of a little over three minutes. Even songs about joy on

“Reir” are seemingly viewed through a slow motion lens, as if it were his compositions are cameras intent on forcing us to focus on specific details in an experience. His guitar playing occupies a variety of channels in the song’s mix and has a melodic slant despite the “unusual” setting – some are buried in the mix compared to others reaching out for listeners and making quite an impression. The guitar playing may remind some of a dialogue of sorts, rising and falling with feeling, and commanding attention from the first.


Thoughts about awakening to the turning of material fortunes inspires “Inequuidad” and we are treated to a ghostly blend of acoustic and electric guitar swathed by a cloud of echo and reverb. It never comes off as over-wrought. Juraćan is an exceptionally patient musician and writer, zeroed in from the first on applying just the right amount of color to each sonic canvas. There’s a subtle orchestrated feel surrounding the album’s longest track

“Separación” and suggestions we should regard this as a centerpiece of Niño are justified. Juraćan develops a much more downcast melody for this composition, but it possesses an leaden elegiac sway during the first half becoming more and more spectral as it progresses The reflective spirit of the piece is born from looking back on broken, once cherished relationships and recognizing our errors in choosing who deserved our love. Despite a near seven minute running time, this recording never taxes your attention – instead, it is the album’s most fully realized effort.

Juraćan is seeking a catharsis – both public and private. He shares his music with the world with this release, but it undoubtedly serves even deeper, more private needs we can never know. The vulnerability is impressive nonetheless. Niño is an ambitious instrumental release that pays off from the first and holds up with repeated listens.

Jodi Marxbury