Demdike Stare - Wonderland 2xLP
Label: Modern Love
To state the obvious, Demdike Stare are fucking brilliant. Since their inception at the end of the first decade of the millennium, Demdike Stare has conjured their electronic hybrids of concretized dub and gracefully muscular techno through a byzantine network of extant forms and deliberately obtuse pluckings from one hell of a record collection. The name of the project harkens from one of the more well-known chronicles of English witchcraft, and the sense that Demdike Stare are conducting a modern-day divination makes for a very apt analysis. Early on, Demdike rendered a RD Burman Bollywood sample as a dessicated disco-funk dripping with post-colonial dread for the best cut on their iconic debut album Symbiosis. As the duo of Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty has honed their craft, the necessity of locating the origins to their assemblage is no longer relevant, though they maintain the psychogeographical wanderings of an intrepid situationist where all signifiers are free to exploit.
2016's Wonderland is the most rhythmic work of their full albums, continuing the abstracted drum & bass and polymorphous techno they delivered on a 12" series of 'test pressings' that were released from 2013 to 2015. Demdike Snare somewhat sidesteps the cinematic grandeur of the previous full albums in favor skittering, dynamic deconstructions of the quintessential Amen break. The snaking rhythms evolve and erupt along Demdike's malleable latticework that spiral into futurist dervishes as on "Animal Style" or into the blopring acid trax of a tuned up Plus 8 / Plastikman techno of "Hardnoise" and "FullEdge." For all of the swagger and bombast these rhythms has, Demdike Stare propels these a hypercomplex jigjaw puzzle of sound that has way more in common with the electic convolutions of Bernard Parmegiani and Francois Bayle than a bangin' floorfiller merchants. Throw in some urban gamelan, Shangaan electro and ghost-dub fright and Demdike Stare emerge with one hell of a great record. Let's restate the obvious, fucking brilliant.