Thursday, February 3, 2011

Demdike Stare’s Tryptych

A pretty amazing three-CD compilation from this U.K. electronic duo, Tryptych makes available, in one set, three previous albums Forest of Evil, Liberation Through Hearing and Voices of Dust, plus considerable additional material. Demdike Stare is a collaboration between Sean Canty (of the Finders Keepers label) and Miles Whittaker (aka MLZ and part of Pendle Coven). There’s a dark, chilled, underwater vibe to many of these compositions…which comes clear, really, only on the headphones. (Don’t try this stuff in the car.) I’m never really sure, with this kind of music, whether you’re supposed to appreciate the sounds themselves (painstakingly located through crate-digging) or the way they’re put together (also rather tricky and difficult). The tracks I like best, “Bardo Thodol,” for instance, and “Hashshashin Chant,” are built around very interesting, middle-eastern-sounding source material and given a glaze of electronic modernity.

The two “Forest of Evil” tracks, are also excellent. Dusted’s Bernardo Rondeau described them like this:
Purportedly inspired by library music, Forest of Evil‘s two, side-long suites feels less like a chapter of the Demdike trilogy than its extended overture. From the cavernous gusts rushing through side one, ringing stalactites like wind chimes, the aforementioned “Dusk” solidifies into spacious, echo-drenched syncopations. Meanwhile, the juddering, migraine mandalas and steel-plated monsoons of side two (“Dawn”) makes for its doomdsday, dubstep-paced foil. Between the two, the perimeters of planet Demdike Stare is mapped out in all its terrifying vastness.

Read the rest of his review here.

I haven’t listened to this nearly enough to get to the bottom of it. It’s two hours and forty minutes long, for one thing, and way outside my zone of knowledge, for another. (Also, I’m not sure it has a bottom.) Still it’s been a very interesting diversion over the last couple of weeks, and while I may not know enough to write about Tryptych, I can, in any case, recommend it.


Ian said...

I want to hear this, but 2 hours and 40 minutes? Eesh.

jenniferpkelly said...

It is kind of daunting, isn't it?

I think you'd probably like it, or some of it, though. Parts of it remind me of Burial.

Let me know if your curiousity gets the better of your caution.