Written by: BV on 02/10/2014 19:02:22

Agusa and I go way back in the sense that I first encountered their music when I was a DJ at an event called; ”A Demonic Psych Night” some time ago. I was impressed with the band and their mixture of psychedelic music, Swedish folk music and prog-rock and in spite of the sound being terrible on that night I was convinced that Agusa was something worthwhile. Seeing them once more at the Copenhagen Psych Fest confirmed me in my sturdy belief. Now, after quite some time, I’ve gotten the time to review their debut album, “Högtid”, and figure out if it equals their forcefulness as a live band.

Album opener “Uti Vår Hage” certainly seems to give off that impression with its impressive melody line constructed from the sweet tones of a Hammond organ being handled by a very skillful musician. Rhythmically speaking, the track is particularly interesting as it fluently progresses from one melody-line to another, hitting several small intermezzos on the way that all seem to skillfully executed that the track becomes more than the melody line and actually evolves into one of those rare pieces of music where the listener’s attention is divided equally on all the tiny fragments of the soundscape that make up the glorious whole. Instrumental as it is, the sporadic choir is all the listener will receive in terms of vocal work – and that’s okay, seeing as these intricate musical compositions would probably have been greatly inhibited by even the most talented of vocalists.

“Stigen Genom Skogen” follows much of the same musical path of intricacy and careful arrangements. The odd thing is, even though all of these pieces of music simply have to have been carefully constructed and rehearsed, there is a great playfulness present – in abundance, actually – in the quirky guitar fills, the groovy bass lines and the powerful drumming. Most notably though, the playfulness is particularly evident in the virtuosity-laden interplay between the guitar and the organ where the soundscape reaches an entirely new level. “Stigen Genom Skogen” does differ from the rest of the album in a way though, as it displays a very small, but very notable piece of vocal-work that is but a small part of the track – yet sets the entirety of the mood for the duration of the track. Chanted, as it was, by more than one male vocal, it gives the track a sort of religious, spiritual or ritualistic edge that is not entirely unlike their countrymen in GOAT – albeit in a slightly less world-music focused entity.

Instrumental albums will always be a dividing subject as some tend to love them while others are dying for some vocals and lyrics they can sing along too. But for those out there with a liking for instrumental prowess, Agusa is cool act that I can only imagine will get better, possibly becoming top-tier one day. They’ve got the instrumental virtuosity and they’ve also got a knack for intricate but catchy arrangements – and instrumental music really requires both in order to function properly.


Download: Uti Vår Hage, Stigen Genom Skogen, Melodi Från St Knut
For The Fans Of: GOAT, Hills, Kama Loka

Release date 13.02.2014

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII