Thursday, 24 November 2016

Living in a Winter Wonderland...with Demdike Stare

Image result for wonderland demdike

I like a bit of do you, I know - so do Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker who, in case you'd forgotten, are Demdike Stare. You might have forgotten. It's been so long since they made an album. Of course you hadn't forgotten. They were a big thing for a few years, back during...I've forgotten. Anyway, I always liked their releases for being a bit more tasteful, rather more selective in what they sampled than your average imaginary Horror score artists.

A friend says he's heard it's more 'techno'. That's one way of looking at Wonderland; the wrong way. It's more lively than most of what they've done, album-wise, but more to the point, chops up 'street' rhythms into things of their own making...jumpy things, jagged, grindy, Grimy things. At this point I'd reference the exact genres they've been sniffing at but I know nothing of current street music, preferring to avoid the street when at all possible because it's filled with people on their mobiles, wearing tracksuits, hoods and talking hybrid patois between mouthfuls of fast I've heard.

FullEdge (eMpty-40 Mix) is the kind of 'techno' that gets me going....swaying this way and that as it does, with counterpoint percussion, tectonic rhythms, beats brought up in the mix, then down - big tune - and a bit 'street' with the warped vocal sample in there - relentless too. Hold on, I'll crank up the system for Sourced - BOOM! - that's it, right there - it's kinda drum'n'bass-y but then somewhere else, like Doc Scott on steroids. The way D&B used to sample Rap or Ragga vocal snippets is deployed here to great effect. I reckon, whilst they've been 'away', Demdike Stare have spent a lot of time listening to street music, which is great because someone has to do it for me, then take what they like and turn into something as good as this.

I mentioned 'rough' at the start. Well, that's one of the pleasures of Wonderland, a rough place where bass is distorted, beats crushed, swift cuts compressed, sabre-like 'scratches' scorch the mixing desk and everything is constantly mutating.

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