Hans-Jorg Schmitz and his project KING OF AGOGIK continues to impress with each new album. His maturity as an accomplished arranger and composer is ever present in his 4th release "From A To A", a worthy follow-up to the excellent "The Rhythmic Drawing Room".
Schmitz continues to push the envelope with his unorthodox writing style. Each compositions is as fluid an unpredictable as a drop of liquid mercury on a tabletop. Tip the table and the drop will flow easily around any obstacle then conform to it's original shape. If that drop of mercury is poured from any distance it will splat into a hundred miniature droplets; but tilt the table just right and you can make the individual droplets miraculously reform into a single drop.
The music of KING OF AGOGIK flows with the magic of liquid mercury; complete with unexpected twists and turns, changing moods and shifting time signatures, and at times exploding into an aural display of sonic fireworks - then coming together into a cohesive musical sound-scape. Schmitz is a master at interweaving disjointed snippets into a meticulously constructed musical composition.
The music melds progressive metal, avant-garde R.I.O., jazz fusion, Zeuhl, and orchestral symphonic rock, occasionally sounding like DREAM THEATER, GENESIS, YES, MAGMA, and THE ENID. But over the course of of time Schmitz has developed a recognizable style that makes it easily identifiable as the music of KING OF AGOGIK.
KING OF AGOGIK is without question a showcase for the mulch-talented Hans-Jorg Schmitz, a masterful percussionist also performing on keyboards, guitar and bass. In addition to Schmitz "From A To A" is complimented by fellow musicians Peter Simon (oboe and flute) on the tracks "12 BC", "From A ...", "Moonboys", and "Personal Jungle"; Wendy Hiest (vocal narration) on the track "12 BC"; Dago Wilms (guitar) on the tracks "From A ..." and "... To A"; Michael Elzer (Chapman Stick) on the tracks "From A ...", "Free Water" and "Blue Tears"; Phillip Schmitz (Spanish guitar and Ebow) on the tracks "Moonboys" and "The Early Bird And The Edible Dormouse"; and rounding out the list of musicians are Erik Vaxjo (Mellotron), Enno Nilson (keyboards), Michael Kreutz (Bass) and Gary Farmer (Bass).
Highly recommended for the adventurous listener.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on August 25th, 2011