Liberation Through Hearing Liberation Through Hearing

EPs

Demdike Stare Demdike StareLiberation Through Hearing

9 / 10

Demdike Stare Liberation Through Hearing MODERN LOVE (LOVE065, 12” + digital)

Lovecraft said: The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Many times when we enter unfamiliar territories –sometimes they’re completely new, and sometimes they were once familiar but have been forgotten– we tend to take the first steps with caution and with a lump in our throat: what will we find? Demdike Stare is, musically, a kind of dark, thick and impenetrable woods, into which only the most fearless dare to go. It’s the “Forest Of Evil” (Modern Love, 2010) that served as a metaphor for the first instalment of a trilogy on vinyl with which Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty take, with a sibylline subtlety, the sonic programme they started with the album “Symbiosis” (2009) to the extreme. The “hauntology” tag is already too small for them: Demdike Stare’s work is moving ever further away from the revival of 60’s library music with a thick carpet of tenebrous synthesisers, to enter the thickness of the unknown in ambient music. “Liberation Through Hearing” is an ambitious proposition, because it looks like an EP but isn’t (45 minutes divided over two vinyl sides), and it sounds like a soundtrack for a horror film, with untamable nature in the background, but it’s also a perfectly linked summary of most of the currents in the confusing horizontal scene today. Everything is there, because apart from the space evolutions and the labour of disembowelling vintage analogue equipment, there are simultaneous connections with the hermetic branch of industrial music – Coil is the fundamental reference– and the old electro-acoustics, it’s like Krautrock if Krautrock had been invented in England, under the influence of primitive weird folk ( “Bardo Thodol”), and it’s an unnerving ambient trip that, from the outside, seems harmless –before entering the enchanted wood you only see trees–, but in reality is a trap, a black hole, a nightmare that resembles an exit from hell ( “Eurydice”), or an entrance to it, depending on how you look at it ( “The Stars Are Moving”), and it’s laden with symbolic contents, audio-literature, narcotic dust, sorrow and unhealthy attraction. It affects the senses, it corrupts the soul. Javier Blánquez

Demdike Stare - Liberation Through Hearing by modernlove

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