We have been asked to give an honest review of Jacklndn’s EP Deeper. Thus that is what we are going to do. Examine it, warts and all. Brian Eno once said, “Often in life you are confronted by many possibilities. The best thing you can do is just go for one with a quick decision, then make that choice work for you.”
While the EP starts out strong with the single “Deeper,” it also experiments within the shallow end of the pools. That does not mean the tracks are not enjoyable however. It would be helpful to perhaps look at the master of Ambient music, Brian Eno, In this regard. Oblique Strategies, A series of elegantly simple flashcards with phrases like “Breath more Deeply,” “Think of the radio,” “Use an Unacceptable Color,” “What wouldn’t you do,” and “Give the Game Away.”
The tracks topics have subtle variations, the same could be said with the songs’ sound. This is not necessarily bad as the melody gives a Neo-’80s Deep house vibe. We only wish it explored the narratives it constructs a bit more and dived a bit deeper. This journey into the unknown would give the tracks more tension, much like how real relationships are. They are messy, uncomfortable at times, but because of this tension they become deeply satisfying. These tracks have the potential to explore that tension. Instead like in “Getting Physical,” use the concept of sex as the tension. However, rarely is sex the tension of a relationship, especially given how commodified sex has become in our society in relation to music.
But Perhaps minimalism isn’t the point? Perhaps it’s about rhythm and repetition? For this we cite Pierre Schaeffer, the founder of Musique Concrete and creator of the theory of Acousmatic Sound. Schaeffer held that the acousmatic listening experience was one that reduced sounds to the field of hearing alone. The concept of reduction, as used in the Husserlian phenomenological tradition, underpinned Schaeffer’s conceptualization of the acousmatic experience. In this sense, a subject moves their attention away from the physical object responsible for auditory perception and toward the content of this perception. Thus through repetition, one’s own perspective of a sound is shifted to from what’s making this sound to the sound itself. For example, repeating a bird caw to the point you no longer hear a bird, but the caw. But Jacklndn’s tracks do not seem to be asking us to focus on the sounds. Instead, the constant rhythm is broken up by his voice whispering in our ear, asking for our attention. his voice often guides us back to him, instead of having long instances to allow the sounds to envelop us. If we look at the Grain of the Voice by Roland Barthes we can actually see that the unique tonal and social qualities that the voice has are what give it that power of guidance.
That being said, the drums of the track become dronal through their repetition in a way that emphasizes the feeling of being in the zone during dance. But what kind of dance is it? My mind swings over to the seduction that is emphasized by the lyrical content. Under the moon, lost in a trance washed out by a feeling of longing. These are definitely thoughts that form while listening to these tracks.
There is a sparse feeling of setting for each track. What we are given is this allusion to the bedroom with some of the lyrics & the album artwork. There is also a subtle allusion of London’s own Jazz Clubs with the aesthetic choices, however less savvy music listeners may completely miss this. Thus the setting becomes this digital void. The lack of a noticeable noise floor or construction of a landscape to house said instruments (while may lend itself to the 80s vibe,) gives us little information to place the listener in the narrative. When the lyrics are as sparse and gestural as they are in this album, having a well-established setting to your narrative can help ground the listener while making the story (and subsequently the song) more relatable.
The vocals may get repetitive with the delivery and tone at times. However, the tracks are fun and remind us of our primal instincts of longing and love. They would make a decent turn down for the night track in a DJ set, as the bar starts to close and everyone goes home drunk. They are enjoyable and dancy and I would recommend giving them a listen.
Overall, we would give this EP 7 stars out of 10. Be sure to give it a listen for yourself now on Spotify.