To call Jacco Gardner a daydreamer may not be as farfetched as he'd have you believe. Its meaning may refer to a fear of sleep, but with 'Hypnophobia', the brand new album from "baroque pop" prince and Dutch producer / multi-instrumentalist Gardner, he's all set to cast a majestic and vibrant psychedelic spell that will hypnotise listeners at the point dreams and reality meet.
"I came up with the title 'Hypnophobia' while falling asleep and part of my brain just didn't turn off," explains Gardner. "I often have trouble letting go of reality, even though I prefer the world in my dreams... 'Hypnophobia' comes from a place where fears, darkness and creativity collide, like a slightly scary lucid dream. Fearing a loss of control definitely plays a big part of it."
If there's one thing 'Hypnophobia' hasn't lost, it is control. Since unveiling his 'Cabinet of Curiosities' in 2013 (released on the Trouble In Mind label), tastemakers and fans alike have been drawn deeper into Jacco Gardner's fantastical fairytale kingdom. Between clocking up the miles all over the world, playing as member of band The Skywalkers, being enlisted by California's Allah Las to moonlight on keyboards, and jamming with studio auteur Frank Maston, Gardner has honed and refreshed his intoxicating sound with meticulous precision; "Touring all over the world has completely changed me," he says. "I've seen places I'd never seen before or didn't even know existed. I think 'Hypnophobia' has got some of its adventurous character from all those amazing experiences."
Capturing a true sense of exploration, 'Hypnophobia' combines Gardner's newfound love of travel with his continued passion for collecting and playing vintage instruments. A stunning exhibit of lush instrumental tracks as well as songs that boast lyrics worthy of any great pop number, the record features a Wurlitzer electric piano that was purchased on tour, waltzing alongside mellotrons, harpsichords, an Optigan, and an antique Steinway upright piano sold to Gardner by a local church. Akin to the sonic boom of maverick contemporaries John Maus, and Tame Impala, his is a sound that holds fast next to fellow paisley performers Syd Barrett and Curt Boettcher, with the airy dynamics of Stereolab or Simon & Garfunkel. Yet what truly marks Gardner from his musical ancestors and accomplices is his forward-thinking, hi-tech approach; "'Hypnophobia' is the next step into an alternate reality influenced by the present. I'm so inspired by today's technology that many things I do were not possible in the past."
Fusing fantasy with sublime twisted reality, 'Hypnophobia' was recorded in its entirety at Gardner's 'Shadow Shoppe Studio' oddly juxtaposed in the heart of an industrial estate located midst the village of Zwaag, 30 miles north of Amsterdam. "In Zwaag, everyone leaves after office hours so it's perfect for music recording... there's also lots of beautiful green meadows, water and trees close by so it's not hard to find a quiet place to think."
As drum beats throb whilst trucks come and go, and ethereal vocals ricochet between corrugated factory units, swirling instrumentals such as the cinematic 'Grey Lanes' (an earlier incarnation of which included lyrics about changes in Gardner's hometown following months spent abroad) and the harpsichord sound of 'All Over' weave alongside 'Before The Dawn's cosmic eight-minute prog-out epic whilst 'Face To Face's airy drones only complement lyrics that resemble 80s film classic 'Tron'.
Matching these new sonic explorations with the album art, Gardner only had one man on his mind - Julian House - who is best known for his art for Stereolab and Broadcast, co-owner of the Ghost Box label and as a musician with The Focus Group. "I'm a big fan of his stuff and really like the album he did together with Broadcast called 'Broadcast And The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age'. That record was a big inspiration for me and the direction of the new album so it was amazing when he agreed to do the artwork."
For most tradition enthusiasts, it'd be all too easy to rehash the past. But that's where Jacco Gardner's differences lie. Playing all instruments except for drums (provided by live band member Jos van Tol and latest addition Nic Niggebrugge) 'Hypnophobia' brilliantly captures a unique artist and future-vintage aficionado operating at a far higher state of consciousness.
'Hypnophobia' is released on 4th May 2015 on Full Time Hobby.
14 Sep, 2018
Jacco Gardner shares a track 'Volva', from his forthcoming album 'Somnium' released on 23rd November on Polyvinyl.
Premiered in Under The Radar.
08 Jun, 2017
W.I.T.C.H. featuring Jacco Gardner will play the Moth Club in Hackney, London on 22nd September.
16 Nov, 2015
Jacco Gardner has created a special mixtape for Under The Radar.
10 Nov, 2015
together PANGEA are touring Europe and the UK from 28 January - 5 March in support of their recently released Burger Records 'THE PHAGE EP' - produced by Tommy Stinson from The Replacements. 'THE PHAGE EP' is available on 12" EP, cassette & digital.
"'The Phage' is essentially cabin fever, whether it be a cabin or a tour van that you're trapped in for months." Says singer / songwriter / guitarist William Keegan. "When things become funny for no reason and a little madness sets in, that's when you start stealing organs with a teleportation ray. Just watch Star Trek Voyager."
2015 has been an active year to date for together PANGEA. The year started with a sweaty & successful 25-date tour of the UK and Europe, followed by a slot opening for the The Replacements at the legendary Hollywood Palladium. A first visit to Mexico, a summer U.S. West Coast headlining tour and an appearance at last month s hottest Los Angeles festival Beach Goth 2015 before starting the fall tour the band are currently headlining in support of 'THE PHAGE EP', which includes a stop at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Texas.
With no break on the horizon after the US tour finishes 6 December, together PANGEA intend to record and complete a new full-length album prior to stepping on the plane for the start of the European Tour on 28 January.
"together PANGEA is just one fucking fun band" - MTV Hive
15 Oct, 2015
Jacco Gardner performs 'Find Yourself' live for the Monte le Son sessions.
25 Aug, 2015
Jacco Gardner & Mura Masa are both featured in the Lowlands Top 30.
24 Aug, 2015
Jacco Gardner covers Traffic & Paul McCartney for the Lagniappe Sessions. Listen at Aquarium Drunkard.
24 Jul, 2015
Jacco Gardner's track 'Find Yourself' has been remixed by psychedelic mastermind Richard Norris. Premiered exclusively on Kaltblut.
15 Jul, 2015
Watch Jacco Gardner's full live performance on KEXP, from 25th June.
12 Jun, 2015
Previously unreleased track from Jacco Gardner from 'Trouble In Mind Presents': Eindhoven 2015 compilation.
Released on June 5th 2015 in an edition of 800 LP's.