nzoa ad 0622



Reviewed by Seamus Maguire

Jet Jaguar: Grounded

Reviewed by Seamus Maguire

Jet Jaguar: Grounded

Jet Jaguar is the downtempo electronica project of Wellington musician Michael Upton who has seen a vast array of releases over 18 years.

‘Grounded’ is a reflection on those past decades, both musically and seemingly in a spiritual sense.

On one hand, being grounded can bring security, on the other hand, it can feel restrictive and prevent you from growing. Similarly, Upton writes that making music after two decades can provide confidence and reassurance but can also bring a sense of doubt, repetitiveness and being stuck in your old ways.

Musically this album brings a collection of musical sketches and field recording collected over years – they are grounded in both space and time.

‘Grounded’ is a relaxed collection of music featuring carefully focused rhythms with an overarching ambience that keeps the album feeling uninvasive but never boring.

The record features samples from Portugal and Spain, as well as from throughout NZ.

For Upton, these samples and songs are set firmly with certain places and points in his life.

He utilises space, and lack thereof, to provide a constant sense of shifting.

Two-dimensional pieces suddenly expand with single percussive hits that reverberate endlessly.

Soft arpeggiating synths with long delay tails wobble back and forth and pull you into a strange repetitive daze, contrasting against the firm rhythms.

Definitely worth the listen, perhaps while reading a book.