In 2000 Agnish self-released his debut full-length CD, Automata, on his Blue Bunny Records. Here, with 11 tracks, he merged drum machine generated beats and melody and toy samples with acoustic guitar-based singing and song-writing. The sound -- electro-folk, folk-tronica, or maybe indie-tronica -- prompted The Toronto Star to call Agnish a "techno-savvy, 21st-century descendant of Nick Drake or Leonard Cohen."
Pitchfork, in a favorable review (7.6 rating) said "Agnish blends electronics, toys, and folk into a chalice and offers it to you as a gift. Both familiar and unlike anything else, you'd be wise to taste it." The album was spun on college radio, debuting at number 121 on the CMJ charts.
Sufjan Stevens, a former band-mate who toured and performed regularly with Agnish in support of the album, recorded melodica on one song and analog synth on another. JSRockit, a long-time friend and musical influence who accompanies Agnish on other releases, contributes programming on two of the songs on Automata. Agnish toured in support of the CD with Stevens, Half-Handed Cloud, Soul-Junk, Danielson, and Unwed Sailor.
released August 1, 2000
Guest musicians: Sufjan Stevens plays synth on "Climb to Remind." Sufjan Stevens plays melodica on "Send Me." JSRockit programs the drum beats on "How You Dream." JSRockit does all programming on "Smile to the Pretty Angel."