Friday, November 8, 2013
Jacco Gardner "The End Of August" on Trouble in Mind Records
I've been making a mistake thinking of Jacco Gardner and Cabinet of Curiosities as any sort of psych. He considers these exclusive tracks on his latest from Trouble in Mind, baroque-pop. It's an important distinction, instead of the foggy haze that attempts to simulate an altered consciousness Jacco's concoction has the lofty precision of orchestral chamber music, the layers of dense instrumentation crafted into pop phrases. The hash and tie dye sheets on the wall have been replaced with medieval tapestries and quaaludes.
A-Side's "End of August" has a smooth, cool, chorus guitar, I can't even describe the layers of effects here, the warped and gilded ornamentation is so heavy. I get it, it's easy to attach 'psych' to anything dense and carefree and this is too skillfully done. The level of craft is similar to Paul Messis which is to say the details have been completely agonized over and worked to an inch of their life. I'm sure these two would have war stories from the studio, the tracks scrapped or just not up to standards. This is perfection, the lofty vibes of uncategorizable elements, wind, clouds, capturing that sunny haze; a kaleidoscope tunnel vision of rolling down a hill. Layers of harmony in his vocal the end game of tracking instrumentation, a defining moment when music went from played live to entirely studio based, this baroque pop is taking that idea to some kind of mathematically impossible end place. Jacco is here, years later, and he picked up that smoldering torch and soaked it in gasoline. This deserves intense study like a good Ariel Pink track, there's enough material here for a thousand songs.
B-Side's "Notus" puts the reverb right into toms and rim shots. The guitar can't ever just be through one effect, we're talking about blowing minds, you need a minimum of five layers of all different warm warbles wrapped in different picked styles, weaving a heated blanket while you're lying there. It's warm before you even realize it, like heated car seats. Where did this come from? A pause for organ keys that starts to give away it's synth roots to take over the track. Is this the culmination of hours of sludgy jams? It's so perfectly clear and executed that it doesn't give away it's background at all, just try to imagine a demo of this. Jacco will make you want to just throw your 4-track out the window and quit. You can't even attribute this to today's technology - you hear something like this and no amount of gear can make the average jerk sound like this. It's the rare culmination of talent and then having access to a real studio and production. It almost never happens.
Head over to Trouble in Mind to listen on their flash player...or better yet, you know he's great, just paypal them already. B-Side below: