AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: jarguna – Explorations of the Unconscious (2023; Reverse Alignment)

At last count, Italian synthesist and sound artist jarguna (Marco Billi) has nearly 50 albums released over the last 20 years. His music tends toward the organic ambient, neither too dark nor too experimental. Explorations of the Unconscious, his first release on Reverse Alignment, both sticks with this mold and breaks it to some extent.

The sounds consist of deep drones and gently roiling synth, with repeating patterns and oscillations of various frequencies. Throughout there is a dense, analog feel that contributes to the aforementioned organic nature. Another effect of these tracks is their tendency to be hypnogogic or subtly psychedelic. Indeed, several are named after psychoactive agents and implicitly ask whether the use of these substances merely distorts the senses or allows one to receive sensory information that is otherwise unavailable.

To support these notions, jarguna employs airy passages, slow motifs that bounce around the frequency spectrum, and glissando progressions. Low-end tones are gritty, textural, and accompanied by burbling synth. When sped up, these elements result in percussion-like patterns of beats.

Put together, these musical structures result in a pleasant listen that straddles the edge of avant-garde. Explorations of the Unconscious is a great place to start with the jarguna discography, as well as a compelling listen on its own.