The fact that Matthew Dear’s second-ever release as Jabberjaw (and his first for Spectral Sound) is called The Garden of Eden is no mistake—the music reflects a back-to-basics approach, displaying bracingly minimal textures and primal repetition in a way that makes Dear’s Jabberjaw alias unique.
“A Goat on Fire in the Garden of Eden” opens the EP on an absurdist note, as a gently scuffed kick drum gets company from a barnyard’s worth of odd, rhythmic sounds, from a slowed-down glass harmonica to a monster with the hiccups. It gets noisy in there, but Jabberjaw keeps things loose and funky underneath the polyrhythmic melee. “The Connie Shake” is a shaggy-limbed take on soul, featuring a pared-down beat, some lite-jazz keys, and an eerie police siren. “Safety Flirt” is The Garden of Eden EP’s strangest and most compelling moment, dripping tiny squelches and snare hits into the spaces within a sly, slinky micro-beat. The song gains momentum as the off-beats accumulate, turning a simple minimal house beat into a hissing, burbling serpent of a track.