Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Spencer Clark makes strange, abstract music under a number of (pretty silly) pseudonyms*, perhaps the most prevalent one being Monopoly Child Star Searchers. His oeuvre consists of rambling percussion and electronics pieces that sit somewhat uncomfortably between ethnic field recordings, New Age glissando and the sort of music they used to have on VHS head cleaning tapes, and lo fi as hell, as if heard through or a wall or recorded on a phone with a waning battery. The titles of the tracks (where they are given) tend to be chance juxtapositions of pseudoscientific buzz words, and it is telling that he sometimes uses the alias of Charles Berlitz, the writer who produced an endless series of books in the seventies and eighties about strange and unexplained phenomena.
Clark’s ‘career’ seems fairly haphazard by 21st century terms: he retains a mystery and unavailability rare in the over saturated internet era. Much of his back catalogue is out of print, or spread across a number of labels. He likes cassettes and CDR’s and limited editions, so even his most recent work is sometimes difficult to get hold of. But I’m on it. If you needed any further incentive, it’s worth pointing out that his first release as Monopoly Child Star Searchers was an alternate soundtrack to the 1978 Tony Curtis clunker, The Manitou, a pretty awful film that, nevertheless, achieves greatness in its climactic fourth dimensional cosmic mind laser battle between a psychic and a four hundred year old Native American medicine man.  

* Vodka Soap, Black Joker, Fourth World Magazine, Egyptian Sports Network, Monopoly Star Child Searchers, Typhonian Nightlife...  

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