"[San Agustin] works in suspended slow-motion patterns that revolve around simple resonating phrases, like a rock trio stripped of all content—just leaving a bare skeleton of tone traces behind. The beauty is in its strict restraint; unlike many improvising trios, the group never heads off into chaos, with every piece a tamed and trimmed exercise in controlled feedback and subtle cymbal chimes. Bridging post-rock and avant-garde on one axis, and on the other retaining a strict adherence to rock tradition, the feel is of a familiar austerity that calls to mind the chilling moments of Sonic Youth's first album."
—The All Music Guide
"Trio from Georgia that purvey a floating ethereal improvised gauzy veil of sound. Jazzy drumming (in the best sense) and criss-crossing picked guitar parts by turns meditative and discursive, these guys have a great take on group dynamics and are justly lauded... Entrancing."
on San Agustin's The Expanding Sea (2003):
Recorded live in several cities during Table of the Elements' 2001 European showcase tour, San Agustin's The Expanding Sea ebbs and flows with a murky and unwavering resilience. The three discs that make up the set feature the band, whose members are based in Atlanta and New York, creating droning instrumental waves that linger between moments of ominous tension and candle-lit reverberations. Documenting six performances that, when combined, stretch out for more than 132 minutes, the release flaunts a complex group of musicians bending the rules with formless simplicity.
Recorded in Villeurbanne and Grenoble, France, disc one captures guitarists Andrew Burnes and David Daniell, along with percussionist Bryan Fielden, crafting shimmering feedback that fades into warm, introspective washes of sound. The gently sloping arrangements evoke a tattered sense of Americana filled with rural, dream-like desperation.
Recorded in Brussels and Zürich, disc two fosters a similar mood, but reveals a more temperamental side of the music. Quiet arrangements bulge to a sweltering and chaotic peak of frenzied rhythms before sinking back into unwavering ripples of isolation. It's a disturbing swell that brings about a sense of frustration, but is soon overcome by tranquility as the music resumes its course.
Disc three picks up in Berlin and Bordeaux, France, with calm clarity. Here the tension wanes, bringing the flowing motion of The Expanding Sea full circle and leaving off right where it started.
—Creative Loafing, Atlanta