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Monopoly of Child Star Searchers - Prince of Parrot Shooters / Aqueducts of Channel I [Pacific City Discs - 2022]

Monopoly of Child Star Searchers' Prince of Parrot Shooters / Aqueducts of Channel Island is an LP of lo-fi psychedelic tribal ambient loops recalling groups like Black Dice, Tuluum Shimmering or Rapoon.  Apparently, it is a vinyl re-issue of two minor releases from 2008-2009- which came out on limited editions of CDr and cassette, but never vinyl.

The source material appears to be field recordings of African tribal music, chopped into loops and used as the basis for other electronic instrumentation.  It's also possible these are live recordings of hand percussion, as in the case of Muslimgauze or Tuluum Shimmering's recordings.  Flute-like melodies are layered in over the initial loops of drums, eventually developing into a whirlwind of harmonies which don't exactly lock together in time, but form a coherent tonal space together.

The group appears to be aiming for ecstatic, euphoric ritual energy, and generally keeps the electric, wide-awake atmosphere consistent.  The composition, though classifiable as ambient, changes gears every couple of minutes, sometimes abruptly cutting to an entirely new beat, making the album feel like something of intuitively assembled scrapbook of ideas.

The album has a harsh, trebley sound quality suggesting the tracks emerged raw from a hardware set-up involving guitar pedals and amplifiers, or perhaps that they used a process of repeated redubbing from one medium to another which masked the original tone, causing the recordings to "age" and sound more vintage than before.  For fans of the 80's records of groups like SPK and Nurse With Wound, this messy sound quality should be no issue.  However, it is shrill and rings sharply in the ears in a way that could have been easily corrected with a little bit of post-production.

The primary appeal of this album is the joyfully otherworldly mood, its spirit raising perpetual motion, perfect for the individual psychedelic journey.  What it lacks in technical quality, it repays in its strong optimistic message, abstractly and wordlessly spoken through shimmering scalar iterations on organ-like patches.  With a skittering pitch bend signifying each iteration through the loop pedal, it is a recording in which the limited means of its creation are displayed proudly. To find out more head here

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Josh Landry
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