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Gardner has been known to create swirling psychedelic pop boosted by his rich, resonate and baroque voice but on his third album, his vocals are gone and in their place is an equally seamless melodic exploration but an instrumental one, with a synthesized occult edge. Somnium is a nod to the novel of the same name, written in 1608 by Johannes Kepler and is regarded as the first ever science fiction novel. “This book fascinates me because it was basically Kepler travelling in his mind to a non-existent world while describing it, and his journey, with amazing detail.”
This form of mind travel is what Jacco has set out to create in a sonic, almost alchemic, capacity. Hence the reason for his vocals being left out of this spiritual journey. “I deliberately removed my voice from the experience, as it made it more difficult for me to achieve the intended state of mind. I think it makes the journey more interesting, more deep, and more intimate. I didn’t feel the need to show my face while one drifts away into thought. Somnium is a visionary experience. The album is more than just a trip, it is about contact with a deeper – hidden – reality.”
Barry says: Jacco may well have got rid of the vocals, but it hasn't dampened any of the stone-cold groove he manages to eke out of his instruments. Vox or no, the swooning, psychedelic haze is strong here, and further goes to show his skills no matter the tools. A mind-bending and enthralling journey throughout.
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