Jack Colleran’s debut record under his former MMOTH’s alias was praised for its chillwave aesthetic and coming of age intricacy. On 'Gardenia', his debut project under a new ambient focused moniker J Colleran, the artist has set himself up beautifully for an onslaught of Irish and futuristic visual metaphors inspired from the surroundings he calls home.
'Gardenia', released on Because Music, was recorded at The Meadow Studios in Wicklow, Ireland, with its neo-classical identity drawing inspiration from Colleran’s home in The Curragh Plains in Kildare. The organic soundscape was designed with the local flora and fauna in mind, while also meandering into cold and fictional worlds.
“Throughout the record, I wanted to ensure that when it felt overly organic I immediately counteracted this with something digital or synthesised working alongside it”, he explains.
The vision is realised in its entirety on the very first track, ‘Sunline’. Optimistic strings paint a portrait of a distant sunrise before bursts of arcade sounds shatter and break. Combining the classical and futuristic works wonderfully as a blooming time lapsed paradise unravels itself before you, creating an oxymoronic world that is both astoundingly calming and infectiously anxious.
We move into ‘bERA’, and in doing so we enter a realm sadness, euphoria, inspiration and despair. Everything great classical music should be delivered in a contemporary package. ‘Freesia i’ again blends the old with the new, with sporadic keys and condensed explosions of innovative noise that set the scene for an intergalactic orchestra to score a solar eclipse.
Each track is subtly different to the last. It isn’t trying to be a groundbreaking record, it’s simply an instrument to escape the mundane and transport you to Colleran’s made up world. ‘And The Sky Cracked for the First Time’ feels like an ice age coming into bloom; each sound playing on your heartstrings as if they were an ancient harp.
‘Granu’ delivers an impressive finale with its drama and live recorded aura, but it’s ‘Freesia ii’ that shines as the standout piece. It’s a real vision of Ireland; its strings and keys illustrating an overcast day; flowers threaten to have their heads removed from their bodies as the wind rattles on.
It’s the type of day you’d see some old fella out walking his dog with not a care in the world, and, just for a moment, as you drown out the noise, you find yourself at peace with everything.
On 'Gardenia', J Colleran has transcended into a world of beauty, sadness, hopefulness and hopelessness and found comfort within its organic and inspiring home.
Words: Andrew Moore
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