Here it is, the new Demdike Stare release – make of it what you will. I don’t care. So there. My talking about it won’t make much difference, although part (a small part, buried in a tiny recess back of my brain) of me hopes that by posting this you might seek it out, have a listen, like or dislike.
What are they liberating us from? The boredom of everyday life? The vacuous nature of mainstream Pop? Well, we don’t have to listen to that, do we? Although I’m old enough to recall times when we did, via Top of the Pops. We listened in the hope that our favourite pop act would make an appearance. How primitive it all seems...like cavemen huddled around a fire, entranced by the crackling flames – but hold on, there’s something poetic about that, perhaps, whilst there was nothing poetic about having to suffer Clive Dunn singing ‘Grandad’. Obviously. Starved of music on mainstream TV, we were thankful for the crumbs thrown to us by programmers. Hurrah for the modern world.
DS don’t sound modern. Listening to ‘The Stars Are Moving’ is an experience akin to...what? A trip through some primordial state of mind, some unholy rite performed by ancients with a view to connecting with the stars – maybe – there’s a heavenly chorus amid the drone and fizzle of electronics which brings to mind some futurist religion from long ago...perhaps when young people listened to Clive Dunn...no...older.
DS like to include an element of tribalism, worldly percussion, a shamanistic performance designed, no doubt, to liberate us from something through submission to their sound. It’s possible. I really mean it is possible to hear ‘Bardo Thodol’ and feel a kind of release – release and captivity – that’s the trick. DS captivate and release, possibly. DS bring on the dark stuff – which in itself is a form of liberation, to move away from the relentless cheer of showbiz news, boy band reunions and all the stuff that supposedly provides a lift for people – which people? They are not my people. Who are ‘the masses’? And are they really as stupid as their listening/reading habits suggest? I leave that one with you.
Liberation – this isn’t wallowing in misery, more submerging yourself...wilfully becoming immersed in darkness – is that it? Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain, as Frankie Beverly (after Khalil Gibran) once sang – so the sun breaks through whilst ‘Matilda’s Dream’ plays...it seems contradictory somehow but the light enhances the sombre beauty of this music....the power of contrasting elements? Or one complimenting the other.
Yes folks, I feel liberated from something, even if that something is only the mass of mediocre music that exists in the world today.