Boomkat Product Review:
Spencer Clark (The Skaters, Monopoly Child) brings his daemons to life on the 3rd, hyperstitious instalment of his Typhonian Highlife project inspired by the late ‘80s movies; Hellraiser II (Hellbound) and PIN (A Plastic Nightmare).
From the outset, this is clearly some of Clark’s most pellucid and detailed work, albeit utterly whacked out in a way that’s key to everything he does. On a basic level, the record has more than two tracks - as opposed to his usual side-long jams - but on another level, those eight, discrete parts are also rife with expressive information, allowing us to better make out the morphing, abstract silhouettes of the unearthly characters unleashed from his zzz’s.
However, unlike, say Coil’s The Unreleased Themes For Hellraiser, the music isn’t necessarily dark, per se; it’s better located in the uncanny valley between dream and waking life, and perhaps more acutely, it’s an attempt to replicate the strangeness of memory recollection, and the curdled feelings associated with being an wide-eyed adolescent absorbing the mainstream occulture of the late ‘80s, but probably at a later date sometime later in the ‘90s.
In that sense, its hauntological aspects should properly resonate with anyone over the age of 30 who can still remember the musk of video rental shops and those titles your folks would never let you rent (fucksake mam, i’m not watching Home Alone again!). But, it should also resonate with anyone digging the roots of rave and ambient culture, as the films he references were ubiquitous to youngers back then; a bank of imagery, ideas and sounds which were constantly referenced, sampled and osmotically absorbed into the popular psyche.
And then again, if you factor in Clark’s nods to classical aquarium fusion and some possibly apocryphal pseudo-science/poetry (depending your perspective) and maybe it’s not all as clear as it seems. In fact, probably not.