The Guardian's Music News Editor on Gabriel Garzon-Montano's Jardin
Gabriel Garzón-Montano is a godsend for fans of jazzy electronics who find the Brainfeeder crew a little too fraught and James Blake a bit too mopey.
His latest album, Jardin, out via retro soul revivalists Stones Throw, treads a curious line between artsy and accessible.
The Game, for example, has more than a little boy band glimmer to it. Shove in some lyrics about Britney and speed up its tempo and you’ve got yourself Justin Timberlake circa Justified.
Fruitflies, meanwhile, has an almost psychedelic quality - rich in texture, space and sadness. The austere piano and the melody in its verses remind me of Radiohead’s Down Is The New Up.
Brought up on a refined diet of Latin influences such as cumbia and salsa, as well as classical and avant-garde (his mother worked with the Philip Glass Ensemble) the Brooklyn-based musician’s songs span a collection of styles as meticulously crafted as they are groove-based.
His voice is unremarkable, but what it lacks in character he makes up for in chameleon-like adaptability. Layered, it can be as hypnotic as D’Angelo’s, pitched up it can buzz like flies, stripped bare it’s loaded with boyish angst.
Part of his song 6 8 was sampled on Drake’s 2015 track Jungle.
The Canadian has an ear for understated talent (sampling Sampha on Too Much, Kyla on One Dance) and Garzón-Montano is no exception. His music comes with a natural low-slung soulfulness, and it’s a compelling listen.
Harriet Gibsone (@harrietgibsone)
Music News Editor, The Guardian