Boomkat Product Review:
New new age journeyman Spencer Clark meets Sun Araw on his travels in a first new Monopoly Star Child Searchers side since 2018, following a reissue of a rediscovered treasures in ’22
Never uneasy on the ear, Monopoly Star Child Searchers has been one of Clark’s main vessels since disbanding his legendary duo, The Skaters, with James Ferraro, instrumental in renewing and mutating the new age ambient virus in the ’00s, which prevails to this day. While that aesthetic has been commercialised and sanitised by many interlopers over the past decade, Clark has stuck to its psychedelic, modal, explorative principles without fail or compromise, as found on ‘Barbados Wild Horses’, a mesmerising four-part session starring Cameron Stallones aka Sun Araw, a mutual spirit who brings a vibrant percussive energy and lilt to two of its standouts.
‘Barbados Wild Horses’ was recorded during Clark’s stint on the Canary Isles in the Atlantic Ocean, and duly catches prevailing winds of influence from not just the islands’ volcanic landscapes and unique climate, but also elements of ritual trance music from Morocco and Saharan blues, rhythmelodic West African percussions, Japanese electronic fusion music, and the original US, DIY ambient/experimental impetus that has driven his and Sun Araw’s work for decades now.
On his tod, Clark bookends the album with the gauzy lushness of warm breeze melodies and wood drums diffracted with a compelling hands-on quality said to evoke “the lovelorn potential of the fading sunlight”, and a ‘Nightcharcos Punta Brava’ piece where the loops become more unbuckled, gummy with synth spooj and riddled with criss-crossing lines of extended melody. The rest of the album, in communion with Sun Araw, introduces flute fanfares that give way to what sounds like the score to Akira reset in Atlantis, and the spongiform curiosity of ‘Neopreno Antiguo’, like a backing track to an all-inclusive hotel where they water the vodka down with aether.