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'Agusa 2' is the aptly named second album, containing two tracks, by self-proclaimed Swedish psychedelic prog rock quintet, Agusa. Constituted by bassist Tobias Petterson, guitarist Mikael Ödesjö, drummer Tim Wallander, organist Jonas Berge and Jenny Puertas on flute, this band ply their prog rock pursuits predominantly within the context of a 70s inspired aesthetic. A mellow and captivating listen during long passages of the two lengthy tracks on this release, instrumentations have strong folk flavours, so don't expect any kind of mind-bending psychedelia here; quite the contrary, this is more about sonic absorbance that treads a thin line between music and muzak. It never feels like muzak, although the listening experience is one you'll have to dedicate some time to, rather than simply playing the album and expecting it to engage you. Otherwise, it has the potential to be unfairly dismissed as mere background music. It's more about a dialogic interaction here (as any subject/art interaction is, in essence), although the dialogue will have to be more wilful; you'll need to engage with the music as much as it reaches out to engage with you. There's no quick hit of in-your-face sonics on 'Agusa 2'. Instead, this is music that's in no rush to make an impact; it's a slow-burning affect that'll work only if you give it the necessary time to lay bare its intentions. And those intentions seem to be to express a wide range of moods within its skilfully crafted soundscapes. Wholly instrumental, apart from a few voices sporadically introduced into the mix as background vocals, it's testament to the Agusa guys' musical abilities that they've been able to express such a wide range of emotions through their music. And this has all been achieved within what sounds like a casual jam... but one that exposes its structured nature during slow-building crescendos and diminuendos. That's not to say the crescendos and diminuendos sound forced; rather, they come across as thoughtfully, rather than randomly, posited within the instrumentations. To be honest, this album won't be for everyone. In the same sense, it has esoteric appeal without being emphatically esoteric. And for those of you out there who do connect with this music, it's not always going to be your primary listening choice if it's had the same affect on you as it's had on me. I think, therefore, it's more an album to feed your mood than create your mood, so listen to this in the right emotional state and it's rather magnificent.
The Laser’s Edge
Review by Mark Holmes
September 2015
1) Gånglåt från Vintergatan
2) Kung Bores Dans
"...it's more an album to feed your mood than create your mood, so listen to this in the right emotional state and it's rather magnificent."