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Demdike Stare – Voices Of Dust review

In a year when the more adventurous minds have conjured up the term ‘witch house’ to differentiate between a generation of bedroom producers with a penchant for internet unfriendly symbols, Demdike Stare have provided more than a genuine scare or two with a sonic fog of unease wrapped in mysticism integral to their every moment.

Voices Of Dust sees the Lancastrian duo of Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker deliver the final and much anticipated chapter in their trilogy of  albums for Modern Love this year. Arriving in strictly limited quantities and adorned with suitably cryptic artwork from Mr Andy Votel, this is a collection of tracks that chill and delight in equal measures. Proceedings commence in suitably menacing fashion with creeping drone frequencies twisted into the unnerving three minutes that make up “Black Sun”. This seeps into “Hashshashin Chant”, a frenetic collision of eastern discothèque percussion, heavily treated chants, fractured metallic abrasions and cold war submarines. If Maya Arulpragasam did a career swerve towards dub techno it might sound like this.

“Repository Of Light” represents this album’s longest arrangement at eleven minutes, and with it Demdike Stare provide perhaps the most fulfilling moment. Senses are lifted with gratifying ease out of the preceding viscous sonic mist of all encompassing claustrophobia to a delightfully floating point via the gradual ascent to prominence of crystalline Detroit synths that shimmer with ethereal intensity.

“Of Decay & Ecstasy” marks a swift plunge back into the machine made mist of unease which seeps into proceedings on the flip with the spectral fog of “Rain & Shame”. A concluding descent towards the darkness of finality is heralded by murky nebula of distant horns that punctuate “Leptonic Master”. By the time the coarse grains of “A Tale Of Sand” reach the run out groove, you are left with the thrilling sensual juxtaposition of craving more despite yourself.

Tony Poland