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Boomkat Product Review:
"The Mattson 2 stride into a new realm of sound that blends their signature jazz soundscapes with ethereal structures and haunting splashes of improvisational raga techniques. This time around, they go deeper and darker, balancing an ebb and flow to create something truly mesmerizing, thanks in no small part to producer Thomas Campbell and the legendary John X. Volaitis (Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Phoenix). This much-anticipated follow-up to 2011’s Feeling Hands is a marvel of jazz-rock orchestration and arrangement. The droning vistas of Agar are as technically liberating as they are hauntingly avantgarde. The duo is more connected than ever as they move in and out of exotic landscapes that transcend the concept of modern musical performance. Named for the gelatinous substance that binds and connects items in a petri dish (also “raga” backwards), the album shimmers and shakes with sagely nods to the past and the soaring modern wizardry of Jared’s untamed guitars and Jonathan’s tribally hard-bop drumming. With Campbell and Volaitis at the helm, Agar is awash with the sun and surf as much as it is mysterious metal jazz. It glistens with a beautiful weirdness, conjuring images of neon-light rain dances and fireworks in darkening summer skies. The musical capabilities of Farmer Dave Sher (Interpol, Kurt Vile, Vetiver) add unique and pivotal symphonic layers. And for the first time, the Mattson 2 provide emotional complexity via voice: Maryann Tran’s Easternly, wordless sounds are euphoric and majestic. All of this adds to up a layer cake of hypnotic mood and otherworldly innovation."