Agaric ‘Who Made Up The Rules’

Agaric / ‘Who Made Up The Rules’

CD / Digital / Vinyl

Ovum / Released March 8th 2011

There’s been plenty of hype surrounding this one. And in a world governed by the mundane, it’s easy to feel a little put off by the releases everyone’s talking about. Not so much the case here, as one bout through some decent headphones reveals.

What damage through a proper speaker stack then? Patrik Skoog’s Agaric moniker should be familiar a fair few people by now. A member of the Swedish fraternity since the 1990s, a swathe of records on imprints like Drumcode, Truesoul and Raum… Musik stand shoulder to shoulder with his nastier Headroom project, and the Native Diffusion and We Are labels he heads up. Some pedigree, making his first long-player, on Josh Wink’s Ovum no less, something of an event.

More Agoria than Adam Beyer, it’s a stepping, patient man’s album that pays enough attention to the low end, scarcely forgetting about moving those feet. As Run (Ostern Jam) proves to some effect. Mysterious fret chords echo with an air of wonder, all the while the repetitive plod and bleep rhythm, complete with hand clap accents, retains an ethic as minimalist and nine-minutes long as it is infectious and hard to resist. A similar description can be applied to the much shorter Ebisu Interlude, a few stolen moments of distorted hum and step that suggest something of the Orient, or at least the other.

The title track may well steal the show for many on this one. It’s d-irty bassline dropping shortly after the sharp, well-polished beats hit, adding percussion and inaudible vocals just as you feel things may begin to lag. Enter filtered lyrical loop – “Who made up the rules?” – and you’ve got a combination of samples that come together to form a groove that could be enjoyed for quite some time.

Metro also deserves a nod. Similar to the aforementioned, there’s more of a retro vibe about the arrangements: voices stab Chicago style over stripped, raw kicks, before a warm, rolling, rumbling baritone enters to ensure things remain atmospheric but inviting throughout. Throw in a cheeky little bonus track that’s along the same lines as How To Dress Well and what you’ve got is an eleven strong collection of truly modern house and tech that shouldn’t be so engrossing, but somehow pulls it off.