Spike by Agata: Oh my god!
Vincent Francone
8/11/2004 10:26:23 PM

Itís amazing what one man, a guitar and a boatload of effects pedals can produce. Then again, that one man would have to be Agata. Known by the savvy as the guitarist for Melt-Banana, Agata has earned a reputation as a crazed genius and oddball master of his instrument. Like Hendrix, there simply has never been anyone who approached the guitar in such a way. And no one ever will. But Agata does not belong in the same circles as Hendrix, Clapton, and Page; he breaks their circles and bends them into far more interesting shapes.

A true pioneer, Agata takes the guitar and brings it to a new and amazing place. His Melt-Banana playing often resembles a dentistís drill or a motorcycle and even, some times, a guitar. And then there are the breathtaking moments when his playing sounds like nothing ever imagined. For his solo record, Spike [Tzadik] Agata shows that many of the dense sounds found on records such as Cell-Scape were produced from his six strings and not all simply studio magic. This is a truly awesome testament to the elasticity of the electric guitar. Wood and wire can do so many more things than anyone ever envisioned. Fret-board geeks should find this more than just fascinating but essential to understanding their own playing while lovers of the experimental can definitely escape to a strange new island with Agata as their captain. I try not to use this word often, but Agata is a genius.

Buy this CD if you dare enter a world both harsh and peaceful. Avoid if you canít get out of the trappings of conventional rock. Dismiss this as noise if you must, but take such limits to the grave and stay out of the way of evolution. Look, on the next plateau, itís Agata and he is waiting for everyone to catch up to him.


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