ALBUM SW/EDEN RELEASE: MAY 27,
2002 REVIEW: MAY 29, 2002
I bought "Fungus & Sponge" in the early nineties, I practically played
it to pieces. Imagine a band ripping off Neuromancer and getting away
with it. I loved the stuff - even the more doped out goa parts. Even now,
I play the record from time to time, soon a good ten years after I first
heard it, as a matter of fact.
This will not be the case with "Agricultural Beauty". 49 year old Swede
Karl Gasleben has been to India and brought back a bunch of sounds, memories,
songs and impressions. Now he and his colleague Dan Söderqvist want
us to share it. This is like an album-length postcard from them to us.
If you were a huge fan of the more freaked out parts of "Fungus &
Sponge" and want to hear something like them - only this time with
sampled Indian children and flies and with a very evident crush on India
as a whole - you will find loads of interesting stuff here. If you are
a fan of the colder, classic electronic Twice a Man, you will find less.
The strong tune "Song of the Fruit" is one of the few titles from the
album springing to mind in that genre.
But, "Agricultural Beauty" is a cool project. The collaboration
with writers Zac O'Yeah and Anjum Hasan (his wife) is a nice touch. I
think none of the old fans will be totally disappointed. Myself though,
I prefer to stick to "Fungus & Sponge". Maybe it is because the Chiba
sky holds more interest to me than Bangor, or maybe it is because that's
an album that doesn't make you nod off on a warm, sunny day. You decide.