Lazy Listen: Sven Agaath – Simple Field Calculator

October 10, 2014
by Tjeerd van Erve

sven-agaath-simple-field-calculator-L-s3Qhe0One of the things I love about the early-nineties lo-fi, noise and indie rock movement is the simple lack of convention. The idea that everything is possible and therefor should be attempted. Music was there to be made, preferably as purely as possible. Just snatch it up and record it. Somehow, this attitude is dying, with the main players in the field back in those days approaching their fifties and sixties. Hardly anyone within the younger generation seems to be picking up the slack. Some try to simply copy the sound or incorporate it in a wider template of bygone sounds. But the experimental, “fuck, we’re here and we will do what we like no matter what you think of it”-attitude remains strangely absent.

Yes, this is the bitter old man talking.

Enter the Dutch noise rock scene, with adventurous bands such as Nikoo, Those Foreign Kids, Wolvon or Katadreuffe, all trying to push the boundaries on noise rock once again. The latest dissident in this scene is Sven Agaath, a duo from Utrecht with a love for the same bands as this bitter old man. But, unlike many others, they embrace that heedless devil-may-care attitude as well. “Fuck form, fuck the concept, if we want to mix noise rock with reggaeton, we shall.” Or at least, that’s what they state they do. I am by no means a connoisseur of reggaeton…I probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish it from any other pumped-up beat if it was thrown in my face.

What I DO hear and recognise – and let’s focus on that – is a band with an enormous knack for great, catchy melodies that interconnect with the weirdest rhythms. Gino Minuitti and Arno Breuer have – deliberately – set out to mix the apparent unmixable and manage to – in pure Dutch cuisine tradition – make a perfect mishmash out of it. A stew of Alan-Lomax-Haiti-recordings, early Unwound-racket and Guided By Voices hooks, sporadically adding some children’s vocals for good measure. And this is just a sample of what awaits you when you give this enormously adventurous and danceable noise rock album a spin.

Go the future, I believe in you!

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