Jacco Gardner: Somnium (Polyvinyl) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, February 17th, 2020  

Jacco Gardner

Somnium

Polyvinyl

Nov 26, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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The third track on Jacco Gardner's Somnium is titled "Lagrangian Point." Searching online for what a Lagrangian Point is lead me to this: "A Lagrange point is a location in space where the combined gravitational forces of two large bodies, such as Earth and the sun or Earth and the moon, equal the centrifugal force felt by a much smaller third body. The interaction of the forces creates a point of equilibrium where a spacecraft may be 'parked' to make observations." This quick summary of a complex phenomenon is actually a perfect description of the position of Gardner on this album as he merges spiritualism with techno-utopian soundscapes all while sitting comfortably and anonymously behind his otherworldly creations.

The album is entirely instrumental, so there isn't really any program for it. I couldn't say, for example, that Jacco Gardner believes we will reach a point of collective social enlightenment and technological progress that will transform humanity into a post-humanist utopia capable of transcending the previously insurmountable obstacles of our own biology and ecological limitations. At the very least, however, it is a possibility that is not foreclosed upon and is playfully explored through texture and rhythm.

Queasy, wavering synth lines and trickling bells on tracks such as opener "Rising" give the impression of a lost score to a forgotten giallo film, while sinuous grooves and pillowy drum beats on tracks like "Privolva" are pure pastoral Krautrock. Somnium is almost New-Agey in its avoidance of any sort of harsh sound, instead preferring to layer rich and warm synths until they hint at the slightly sinister. He should score the next sci-fi series. (www.jaccogardner.com

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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