Electronic music has long been the music of the future. In a way it is science fiction music as it attempts to describe a time when human beings will have either ascended to a better state of being, or society as we know it will have ceased to exist (depending on how much faith one has in humanity). Jacob Rutherford aka h+ from Perth, Australia is certainly a believer of the former, which doesn’t surprise us being that he describes himself as a futurism and transhumanism enthusiast.
GIGA, is an album full of optimism, youthful optimism perhaps as Rutherford is only 18, but by no means naive optimism. In his future, mankind makes efficient usage of its resources, is capable of answering the most complex of philosophical questions while keeping an eye further into the future, because progress never stops, and today’s modernism will be tomorrow’s convention. Ambient keyboards, dragging background noise and an almost robotic (yet 100% human and soulful) voice which reminds us of the progress we have made as a species, bring to mind the ambient adventures of Aphex Twin in the ’90s. Hypnotic drones and industrial noise add a bit of mystery as the atmosphere becomes more and more dreamlike (because an image of the future could not possibly be crystal-clear to untrained eyes such as ours). But what makes this thirty-minute gem so wonderful, is its deep sense of humanity, a lack of which in many cases characterizes electronic music. GIGA isn’t syrupy sweet, and its melodic parts are not overbearing. Even the most emotional moments feel like the product of a well-tuned machine that has begun to understand what makes us humans do the most irrational things, simply because we know we have to.
The album is an hymn to the future full of nostalgia for science fiction and dreams that haven’t come true, but one day will, because if we lose hope, we will have nothing left. But h+ doesn’t just hope, he is certain of his truth, and very much capable of convincing us of it as well. And it it that confidence of his that makes GIGA a powerful and promising release. (John Kontos)