Thursday, 22 April 2010

Demdike Stare - Forest Of Evil

Demdike Stare - Forest Of Evil LP (Modern Love - Love 060)

Lancashire's occult electronic duo of Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker make it their mission to fuse their immense knowledge of obscure horror soundtracks and dub vinyl treasures into a heady concoction that plays like a woozy Absinthe fuelled waking nightmare and buries itself through burrowing basslines and Alice Coltrane percussion under the pores of every listener ecstatic enough to snap up this marvellous limited vinyl release.

The first in a trilogy of LPs to come out on Modern Love for 2010, Forest Of Evil is a are combination of the clever, the simple and the stunningly effective. Following on from 2009's lengthier but no less devastating CD collection Symbiosis, the pair stir up their witches brew of tar-black drones and psychedelic beats and percussion in a way that will recall a more claustrophobic concoction of Finnish experimentalist Mika Vainio and in the dronier sections is capable of producing such spiritual results (though by no means as minimal) as the one and only Eleh.

The Iranian background sounds so prominent in Symbiosis take a back seat to the alchemic, supernatural dronescapes that are hinted at by Andy Votel's excellent ouija board artwork. This leads nicely on to the bandname - Demdike Stare, which to understand we must be aware of Miles Whittaker's other project Pendle Coven, named after Pendle Hill in north-east Lancashire, an area much frequented by keen ghost-hunters and infamous owing to the witch trials of 1612, during which ten suspected witches were executed. Demdike Stare was the name of the most infamous of these witches. A pertinent point indeed as the band of the same name are making quite a name for themselves.

I am fully aware that this is not the type of music I am known for eulogising over, but this is one of the most startling releases I've come across of late and is fully deserving of its place on my turntable inbetween blastings of Witchsorrow and the new Negura Bunget. I'm sure Sean Canty, who is known as much for his love of obscure Nordic Doom as for his fascination in dub would agree. Good music is good music. Darkness is darkness.

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