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Demdike Stare Union Chapel, London
Article written by
Michael H - Apr 4, 2012
Demdike Stare entered stage left, took to their seats under a stained glass window, and quietly, without fuss, plugged the Union Chapel into the universe.
What followed was an hour and a half of astonishing deep-space drone. Throughout the performance, a projector splattered a degraded flickering mess of film fragments over the walls behind the duo as they wrung a series of epic crackles and groans from their equipment, the whole sound often soaked in enveloping sub-bass. The techno thump and rumbling bass often found room for an Autechre-like algorithmic churn from which spurted the occasional gush of noise, leaving behind a mind-stain like the sole remains of a victim of some cross-dimensional Lovecraftian beast.
The whole set was gripping and completely immersive without resorting to any obvious “scary” noise tropes. Demdike Stare patiently layered loops of diseased dub murk around a loose techno skeleton which would build and then suddenly crumble before they started all over again with a new piece. I imagine this is what the creature from Alien limbers up to before embarking on a spot of carnage.
The sense of pervasive dread conjured up by Sean Canty and Miles Whitaker was such that my cowardly gig companion fled the venue early, complaining that it was ”doing his head in”. What a shame; the night ended with a human sacrificial offering to Cthulhu… which he would have loved.