The 9 favourite Belgian releases of Spencer Clark (Typhonian Highlife)

US-born, Antwerp-based musician Spencer Clark (1980) just released his album ‘The World of Shells’ on exquisite experimental label KRAAK under the moniker Typhonian Highlife. Part sci-fi, part mythological, the former member of iconic duo The Skater is set to perform at Eastern Daze festival in Ghent this Friday, sharing his favourite Belgian cuts with us for the occasion. And, in reference to his own musical universe, the list is filled to the brim with new-age, daunting and exotic sounds. Enjoy.

1. Joel Vandroogenbroeck – Dark Plasma (1980, Biomechanoïd / Coloursound Library)

Joel Vandroogenbroeck is a pure simulationist, meaning he projects his imagination on any topic he sees deep, and begins to make music in honour of it.  He began to release his records on a library music label, but it’s barely library music though. His personal touch is what’s most apparent in his records about Mesopotamia, computer games, and in this track above, the work of Swiss artist H.R. Giger. Joel lives in Mexico City and has a really sick record called Silicon Serene from the 90s, out on WeMe records in Belgium…  You can grab it at Pêle Mêle in Brussels for cheap.

2. Petit Poisson – Espoir perdu (zaiko langa langa)

Zaika Langa Langa is a very well known Congolese band from Brussels. They released so many records…  And the secret is, they still play in Brussels, under different names and with different bands! These are the best concerts I have seen in Belgium, primarily because the vibe is beyond sick, and they go on from midnight until about 6 in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays, in a club near Anderlecht.  But the clubs change around a lot, and you have to have secret contacts in Brussels like Piette or Garcia….  This track represents the more mellow vibes before the hourlong high-flying African V-guitars. 

3. Lieven Martens Moana / Dolphins Into The Future – Ilha Da Culatra (2014, Songs of Gold, Incandescent / Edições Cn)

Lieven Martens Moana’s (Dolphins into the Future) music, filled with field recordings, is its own world genre of romantic-expressionist interactions with nature. Lieven’s subtle and poetic interaction with nature becomes the new natural-symbolist movement, as there is no question as to whether the music is detached from or immersed in nature.  It begins to emulate or mimic nature in a such a poetic fashion that his records can be seen as nature’s ‘mimicry’. An intuitive insider’s interaction.

4. Miaux – Étude des têtus (2012, Étude des têtus / Taped Sounds)

I saw Miaux play just last week in Les Ateliers Claus. It was the most baroque-d out castle jam I’ve ever heard. More so than Zelda games. 

5. Vom Grill – Side B (2015, Knerpen! / PAN)

Dennis is probably the main reason I live in Antwerp.  His dedication to night-life and concerts is completely unheard of, and he does it while still having a good time and drinking. It’s easy to have fun at his concerts, even for people who don’t identify with the music. To me, his music represents his inward sense of humour and darkness, which is ecstatic in its own right. The Mayor of Antwerp.

6. Johannes Ockeghem – Deo Gratias

This is definitely what dads think of when they compose on computers. 

7. Hector Zazou – Des cocotiers (1984, Géographies, 13 Proverbes Africains / Made To Measure)

I had this record when I was 16, back in 1996, when all we had for dinner was ‘jimmy-crack-corn’. You could buy made-to-measure LPs for about two or three dollars. Zazou’s music is always reminiscent of ethnic worlds, and with a children’s choir it’s zeer schoon. 

8. Luc Baiwir – Out of time (1991)

I bought a children’s choir aquarium record by this dude, called Seasong, 10 years ago.  Luc Baiwir might have some haters, but a children’s choir singing to a stingray… I’d take it all day.

9. Orphan Fairytale – Meteor Shower (2012, Comets Come Alive / Blackest Rainbow records)

Eva Van Deuren’s music is pure spirit and so personal. It maps out her own will and consciousness like an occult diary would do.