Demdike Stare: Elemental Parts 1 and 2
by N.Sputnik | Jan 8, 2012
I picked up the new Demdike Stare Elemental EP parts 1 and 2 recently from Boomkat, limited to 1000 pressings. EP 1, titled Chrysanthe, is a 12 inch on orange vinyl at 33 1/3rd RPM. EP 2 titled Violetta, is also a 12 inch on purple vinyl also at 33 1/3rd RPM. They come in a x4 gatefold with has a space for parts 3 and 4 which will be on red and blue vinyl, sold separately, some time in the near future. As usually with Demdike Stare releases, it features great black and white artwork by Andy Votel. The black and white provides a great contrast with the colored vinyl.
Parts 1 and 2 features 6 tracks plus a locked groove track which sounds like so - me folky banjo playing on part 2. There is also some interesting scribings made by the mastering engineer on each disc. Usually you just see a catalogue number or side number scribed between the end of the track and the label. Side A of the orange discs features "All This Is Yours" at outer edges in between the silence lead-in while side B has "a+b/a = a/b = ᵩ. Pudel Pudel Pudel" between the end of the track and the label. Side A of the purple discs features "Autista E'Matto" outer edges in between the silence lead-in while side B has "Keat's Retreat" between the end of the track and the label.
There is a nice blend of ambient and beat driven tracks, although the percussive tracks are pretty abstract. Mephisto's Lament is great opener/tension builder style track Demdike Stare does so well with tracks like Black Sun from Voices of Dust and Caged in Stammheim of Liberation Through Hearing. Mnemosyne (the Greek godess who personifies memory), probably my favorite track from the series so far, features a Middle Eastern ambiance and oud/qanun/sitar and lute type of sounds, some percussive metal clanking sounds, a reverb and delay laden noise shot, a steady ride cymbal, and occasional sub harmonic bass notes. Kommunion's first half is ambient male chorus followed by a filtered/distorted horn section, while the second half has a steady 4/4 909 type kick which then goes to half tempo with off-kilter percussive sounds which might best be describe as various wooden objects being hit with something. A Radiophonic/horror film style key-across-the-piano-strings sound makes an appearance as well as a dissonant droning pad throughout. The sound Unction is probably the hardest to describe. You'll just need to hear it. Violetta, which they first released via a video last year and sounds unchanged since, sounds like piano strings being hit with a mallet along with a choppy rhythmic IDM-type noise punctuated by a small and short splash cymbal. I don't have to describe In The Wake of Chronos, you can hear it below.