Wolfers has made a habit of presenting his synth records as faux soundtracks or loose narratives, though none—save for maybe his actual film music—sound so cinematic as Occult Orientated Crime's dark sci-fi sprawl. Last year's Faroe Islands, for instance, was more concerned with its arrays of digital tones, drifting in aimless patterns like esoteric demo loops. By comparison, the second OOC album, Just A Clown On Crack, deals in orchestrated movement, dynamic sequencing and a pronounced understanding of '80s-era electronic scores. The indelible fingerprints of John Carpenter, Vangelis, Wendy Carlos and Tangerine Dream cover Wolfers' FM synthesis and melodic tension, but they don't define Just A Clown On Crack. A chilly, restless track like "Telephatic Consultation" also recalls Autechre's early forays into beatless IDM; the otherworldly dread of "Central Coast Drift" would be at home in the discographies of contemporaries like Stellar OM Source and Oneohtrix Point Never.
Despite the available comparisons, these six tracks only tell their own story on their own terms. Wolfers has said of his new album, "It can bring the listener into a completely different state of mind, you can almost call it ritualistic neuroscience music." It's another playful exaggeration, and yet there's something to it. Like some of the best synth music, Just A Clown On Crack is a world unto itself, complete with enchanted peaks and shadowy valleys. Eight-minute centerpiece "Blue Austral" is the brightest moment of levity, and Wolfers seems to cherish an opportunity to let some air in. Pan pipe synths bubble and glide as crystalline pads float on warm chords next to a spritely harmonic lead—think SAW II's kind of angelic mysticism. The title track, however, closes Clown with chintzy beats, default synth patches and a goofy bassline. Strange and unflattering as it is, it's the kind of thing any Wolfers diehard has come to expect: a reminder that you're listening to one of the most seriously unserious producers in electronic music.