Agar finds the Mattsons striding into a new realm of sound that blends their signature jazz soundscapes with the ethereal sonic structures and haunting landscapes of improvisational Raga techniques. This time around, the Mattson 2 have gone deeper and darker, balancing a perfect ebb and tidal flow of sound to create something truly mesmerizing. In order to create the stunning musical journey of Agar, the Mattson 2 went to the studio with producer Thomas Campbell and the legendary John X Volaitis – who has worked with the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Phoenix. And for the first time ever, the Mattson 2 recorded the album live in the studio, further adding to the exciting layers of improvisation and perfectly composed chaos.
The much-anticipated follow-up to their dynamic Feeling Hands (2011) is truly a marvel of jazz-rock orchestration and arrangement. The droning vistas of Agar are as technically liberating as they are hauntingly avant-garde. And it shows the twins more telepathically connected than ever as they move in and out of colorful Raga forms and the exotic landscapes that transcend the concept of modern musical performance.
Taking the album name from the gelatinous substance that binds and connects items in a petri dish (also “Raga” backwards), one could say Agar is the perfect figurative definition of a duo continually fueling and feeding each other’s sensational musical creativity. Agar 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’s vast sounds and stylings explore new levels of sonic compositions while further connecting the unique kinship of the Mattson sound. Agar is awash with the sun and surf as much as it is mysterious metal jazz. It's an album that glistens with a beautiful weirdness, conjuring images of neon-light rain dances and electric fireworks into the darkening summer skies.
Agar has also found the Mattson 2 teaming up with Farmer Dave Scher (who has worked with Interpol, Kurt Vile and Vitiver). Scher’s musical capabilities bring a unique (and pivotal) symphonic layer to the diverse Agar sound vistas. And for the first time, the Mattson 2 have brought in a voice to add to the emotional complexity of Agar. Maryann Tran brings her unique hypnosis of wordless sounds that are both euphoric and “Easternly” majestic. All of this adds up to make a layer cake of moody sounds, hypnotizing effects, and otherworldly innovations. And further pushing the Mattson 2 into exciting new musical directions that don’t just go with the flow...they make the flow. Enjoy!