Demdike Stare: Liberation Through Hearing (Modern Love)
Demdike Stare, the duo of Miles Whittaker & Sean Canty, is an odd project that comfortably resides in the grey area between deep, spatial dub, the murkier waters of dubstep, and dark ambient otherworldliness. They quietly crept onto the musical landscape with 2 self-released 12" EPs in 2009 which were later bundled onto a full-length by Boomkat’s in-house label Modern Love, home to deep techno acts Andy Stott, Claro Intelecto, MLZ and more. The appeal of Demdike Stare for me is their unwillingness to pander to any specific genre trappings. The first track on this new EP is indicative of this much alone; it comes off more like an outtake from a Cold Meat Industry comp than a dub/step track. Things continue in the outskirts from there, including the Colleen-esque looping tinkering of “Eurydice” and the dense drones of “Matilda’s Dream.” The only track that ventures into the vaguely Turkish sounds that appeared on their Suspicion collection is “Bardo Thodol,” which is also the only track with an obvious percussion section. Most other times the rhyhmic pulse is more sublime or implied, sometimes rising to the surface but mostly curdling underneath. It’s a bold step ahead for this curious duo who seem to avoid pigeon-holing time and time again.