Make Mine, Macaw by Monopoly Child Star Searchers

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Out at the end of the month on Discrepant is the latest by Monopoly Child Star Searchers (Spencer Clark), the record (LP, Digital) is Make Mine, Macaw. Transfixed in a tropical world where the other side of the world always hold fascination, this is where you’ll land. From the 70’s inspired coverart to the wavy distorted electronics the nu-world album gets deep into a tribal vibe that’s wrought with upbeat rhythm. In only five tracks Clark manages to take us on a gamelan-infused trip in a Tangerine Taxi, with a sidekick, Frawn Perched Macaw. In the latter there are subtle glimmers of the high hippie days of The Doors with a perfectly twee organ.

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His playing is steady, awkward, loose and raw — but it’s never over the top, always collected and rather muted and lo-fi throughout. Make Mine, Macaw has that old cassette tape culture feel. On the speakeasy-styled Wind’s Emotive Inner Key a soaring synth tone towers over the playful keyboards and things become hazy and trance-inducing, a bit lost in time. A unique sound drenched and filtered through a hard-to-thumbprint nostalgia. The percussive elements along with cartoon bird samples show the artist’s use of softened frisky humor. There’s even a repetitive sorta squeaky wheel that mingles well in the mix of Siren’s Spotlight Natures adds a distinct sense of oddity to this already idiosyncratic record. When all the while it would seem the bird, in this case a macaw, would be central to the theme here in an otherwise late night tour of the middle east. Yes this is the type of sound that easily whisks you away to far off places, with persistent percussion and sweet harmonic interludes.

Previously released back in 2010 (on Pacific City) as a limited CDR, it’s awesome that this should get a wider recognition for breaking genre restraints altogether and escaping contemporary fads. This has been completely restructured from the former version, from 6 to five tracks and the time sequences are different too. The snake-charming windup as heard on the solitary Veranda’s Moonglared Surveillance completes the cycle with wooden percussion and a wiggly synth flute motif. The only thing that vaguely comes close in sound is either a much less pop leaning Declare Independence (Björk) mixed with one of those Indonesian comps put out by house favorite Sub Rosa. It’s simultaneously new and old, a great listening experience.

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