Sean Canty & Miles Whittaker return with their first full length as Demdike Stare since 2010 (not counting 2012’s Elemental which compiled three of the duo’s EPs), and much has changed in the interim. Their Testpressing series began to trickle out in 2013, eschewing their sensually macabre black & white artwork in favor of standard-issue test pressing jackets, and saw the duo engaging head-on with dancefloor music by subverting sub bass and jungle breaks into their signature stew of drone and haunted atmospherics. Elsewhere, Whittaker has done his part in taking on jungle & ‘ardkore tropes on his contributions to the HATE and Millie & Andrea side projects with Andy Stott. Wonderland is Demdike’s most immediate effort to date: if not evident from the duo's portraits adorning the sleeve, then from the propulsive broken techno of A-side opener “Curzon”. It’s no secret that Whittaker and Canty are diggers first, musicians second, and their love of turn-of-the-century dancehall rhythms is evident on tracks like “Animal Style” and “FullEdge (eMpTy-40 Mix)” (a sly rub of the “Now Thing” riddim, which itself is a take of the “Sleng Teng” riddim). The duo twist up the breaks and wring them out over a bed of bone-chilling atmosphere on “Airborne Latency”, and “Sourcer” sounds like a grime track produced by Source Direct. Nine tracks spread over two LPs, housed in a Modern Love signature black & white gatefold sleeve.
- gatefold sleeve
- music label: Modern Love 2016
reviewed by dj winyl destination 02/2017