Today we’re taking a look at the impending release from Tanner Garza, entitled “Lucid,” and premiering one of its tracks for your enjoyment. This beauty will be seeing release on October 20th from StaticReason Recordings in an edition of 100. As one of the most soothing experimental drone albums to reach my ears this year, this thing should sell out in a flash.
The album starts off with “Milk & Blood,” named after Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin’s solo album. The song begins with the sounds of a chirping bird (perhaps) and slowly shifts its way into a looping hum that sounds like it was originally created by a human voice but has been heavily altered and manipulated into something that transcends the beauty a human could normally create. In fact, beauty is the recurring theme here. As a member of harsh noise collective Black Leather Jesus, Garza could reasonably be expected to release wall noise or something more abrasive, but this (and many of his solo albums) is simply based on the most ethereal, soothing sounds possible. On songs like “The Midnight Sun,” there are light percussive pulses that contrast nicely with the shimmering ambiance, while “A Song for Hattie Watson” is pure mellow beauty. The album manages to last for an hour without becoming dreary and dull as many similar albums tend to do. Garza keeps things fresh and inventive from song to song, showcasing a true passion for a well-made drone piece, often with some degree of personal connection. “Sunday Morning Mints” reflects on Garza’s childhood memories of his grandfather, while “Cigarette Burns” is surprisingly mellow for a song whose title seems so potentially painful. Closing things off is a brief live performance, which fits surprisingly well here. I was initially startled by the audience’s applause at the end, but found myself otherwise pleased with the complete experience. While this album mellows me out before bed, it’s also been my perfect mood for waking up with a cup of coffee lately. The world can be a scary place, but visiting with “Lucid” reminds me of the subtle beauty in every experience.
Closing this review, I’ve received permission from Tanner Garza and Static Reason to share a song with the world. This tune, “That Golden Age Hum,” is a prime example of this album’s commitment to resonant, textured beauty as well as Garza’s ongoing love of sonic experimentation. Even in the most subtle ways, he plays with sound, and that joy and love of sound itself is what elevates this cassette from simply being pleasing to being a true work of art. Listen for yourself and keep an eye on Static Reason’s website for ordering information.