- The promo video for Agaric's "Who Made up the Rules" features a guy with a forlorn-looking mask walking around Berlin. In the beginning stages, he often stops to open up a map, and then quickly closes it as though he's frustrated. (Part of the problem may be that the mask doesn't seem to have holes for eyes.) I'm sure, in some way, this is supposed to mean that Patrik Skoog, the man behind the Agaric and possibly the mask as well, feels like he's some sort of outsider. But I'm just not buying it.
Despite its packaging and format, Who Made up the Rules is a collection of club tracks. Skoog might argue that they're deeper affairs than normal, lacking the power of his work on releases like his Club Tracks series on We Are. But when eight out of ten tracks are more than five minutes and ten out of ten tracks has a four-four pulse, there's no doubt as to where these cuts will work best. Sample it on Beatport, Juno or whatever digital store you prefer and pick the ones that are right for you.
I say that primarily to DJs, because Skoog's work on Who Made is as polished as ever throughout. The title track is an easy highlight, with its elastic bassline and hypnotic vocal. "Nahua" sounds like a drunk stumbling out of a party before its friend—the kick drum—comes up underneath its outstretched arm to prop him up 15 seconds in. "Metro" has the sort of epic chord progression that marks it out as an obvious set closer. Everything here is in its right place. Skoog is clearly very talented at crafting very functional dance music with just enough personality to keep you on your toes.
Where Agaric is in all of this, however, is rather hard to ascertain. He doesn't have bells like Pantha Du Prince, he hasn't made techno so brutal that it verges on noise like Tommy Four Seven, he hasn't even bothered to call in Seth Troxler for a guest vocal. Granted, none of those particular hats would fit very well. And Skoog is probably proud to have made a record that doesn't have a sonic signature. But a strange left turn, any left turn would be welcome on Who Made. As it stands, it's an album that sounds very nice...but could have been made by just about anyone.
01. Star Core
02. Who Made Up the Rules
04. No Way I Know I Feel
05. Run (Ostern Jam)
06. Ebisu Interlude
08. Inside My Head
09. Shot by Light