With Serenity In The Woods, Citizen Maze joins the Analogue Attic imprint, the Australian label that the duo Albrecht La’Brooy started back in 2012. The use of field recordings has become something of a speciality for the label, and Citizen Maze’s debut EP fits in perfectly.
Opener “Natural Playground” sets the tone for the EP from the get-go, immediately flaunting the extra dimensions that the vast soundscapes add. The shrieks of children playing in the distance and the sounds of tropical birds is a strange combination, but is somehow tied together by the fluttering percussion and the smooth jazzy sax to make the listening experience strangely serene.
The softly ambient “Glade Hollow” follows on in a similar vein with swelling synths that shimmer and bounce from the surface of the off-kilter drums, once again with a heavily jazz-inflected melody.
“Moonlight Sanctuary” is less tranquil than the previous tracks. Muffled percussion and echoing dark synths build tension that eventually gives way to undulating keys and a luscious melody. “Serenity in the Woods” is equally blissful, closing with the sound of birds against a backdrop of a waterfall, taking the EP full circle.
Field recordings are a bit contentious at times but Citizen Maze has managed to strike an impressive balance by capturing the atmosphere of the surroundings without taking any emphasis from the rest of the sound. Through this, Citizen Maze not only manages to set a scene in the listener’s mind but defines a clear sound for himself.