Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner belongs to a time and place that never existed. His second record, ‘Hypnophobia’, faithfully recreates Paisley Underground style psychedelia sprinkled with a quintessentially Middle England sound, as if Opal and Syd Barrett had somehow collaborated at Eel Pie studios. To add to the charm Gardner plays much of this on instruments seemingly gleaned from vintage music shops and flea markets, with harpsichords, mellotrons and wurlitzers adding an air of timelessness to his pristine psych-balladry. ‘Find Yourself’ and ‘Face to Face’ are particularly intricately composed.

The biggest influence, though, is painted all over the album cover. Artist, musician and co-owner of Ghost Box, Julian House can’t help but lend an ominous touch to proceedings and make ‘Hypnophobia’ a companion piece to Broadcast and The Focus Group’s ‘Witch Cults of the Radio Age’. For an album named after the fear of sleep, it seems particularly ominous that Jacco Gardner at all times seems to be lulling us further and further into his own curious dreamland.


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