Published Jan 23, 2011When Lancaster vinyl collectors Demdike Stare first started releasing their atmospheric collage techno in 2009, it already felt that the project was years old. The duo's blend of abstract techno, obscure Middle Eastern and East Indian samples with rare soundtrack and library music jumped out of the gates as a fully formed concoction. Demdike fused a resurgent interest in international vinyl obscurities with a sense that techno could push its boundaries a bit more forcefully. Triptych brings together the three vinyl-only albums released by the astonishingly prolific Demdike Stare camp in 2010: Liberation Through Hearing, Forest of Evil and Voices of Dust. On packaging and design alone, the set is worth the investment in the diminishing world of compact discs. Inside the three-disc set though, the listener falls into a dark, dub-y world that layers bygone eras and distant regions of the globe into hair-raising, epic tracks that often clock in well past the ten-minute mark. Fans of exotic reissues won't be surprised to hear that Sean Canty is behind the illustrious Finders Keepers label. Meanwhile, Miles Whittaker also records dub techno as Pendle Coven and MLZ. Much of that homework is melded and on display in the details of Demdike Stare.
This is one instance where the CD collection actually looks better than the vinyl on which they were originally released.
Whittaker: We always envisioned putting them out on CD, but we didn't know what it would look like until the three designs had already been done on the vinyl. After incorporating those into the CD and seeing the finished product, we were amazed by how it turned out. It's the artwork of Andy Votel, from the Finders Keepers label; he does all the designs for those records too. We've never even given him any kind of specs; he basically just listens to the music and then comes up with the covers. He's basically become an honorary member of Demdike Stare by capturing the mood of the music so perfectly.
This is a lot of music to make in one year. The two of you must work really well together.
It came together quite easily. Sean and I are old friends; we've known each other some 20 years and we've collected disparate threads of music in that time. When we come together to work, we bring two very different mindsets to the table, which is actually really refreshing. (Modern Love)