Drone Grand Maester Spencer Clark teams up with Finnish toy-wizard Jan Anderzen (Tomutonntuu / Kemialliset Ystavat) to create psychedelic magic.
You just need the guy from The Skaters and one really out-there Finnish dude to make sure you get the best kind of weird there is. Animal calls pierce the layer hypnotic synths, drowned by tiny bells engorged by fuzzy delay and reverb pedals to evolve into alien laments from a different dimension. With its bubbling baselines, boiling percussion and hissing drums, Tarzana creates a sort of futuristic aquatic universe, bustling with new energies and hidden treasures.
The alien on the cover has the eerie appeal of an axolotl, the smiling amphibian with a strikingly human resemblance. The same could be said about the music : it feels like something so familiar, yet it refuses to succumb to simple category, floating as an amorphous, genre-defying entity.
As any Spencer Clark release, Alien Wildlife Estate is accompanied by a very specific concept and mythology, using the artwork and liner notes to shed some light into this esoteric universe. Here the central motif is an international airport, but considering their convoluted, otherworldly vision, it is probably closer to those alien meeting places in Rick and Morty than LAX. The use of muddled, underwater sounds might put this in line with the short-lived Tumblr-genre SLIME, but whether you want to call it hypnagogic pop, drone or simply experimental electronics, one thing is pretty clear : those boys know how to make 'em synths purr. This convoluted journey among heavy, primitive percussion, extraterrestrial vocals and airy melodies reaches its final destination in the sublime 'Gemini Observatory Landing Strip', a pure lysergic ambient masterpiece.
While taking cues from the real world, (Tarzana, CA is a neighborhood in San Fernando Valley built on the former site of a ranch that used to belong to the author of Tarzan) Spencer and Jan manage to embark us on a journey well beyond the Earth's asteroid belt. Tarzana really puts the t back in trippy. No mind-altering drugs necessary.
- Review courtesy of Andra Chitimus