Demdike Stare

Voices of Dust

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With "Black Sun" kicking off this release with an extended below-floor-level bass drone blast, Demdike Stare released their third release in the Tryptych collection with a bold statement of purpose. Their Porter Ricks fascination had long been clear via samples as well as general sonic feel, but in ways, this song was their most unalloyed nod to date; but as is typical of the duo's work, the summarization of Voices of Dust hardly ends there. With the slow windup and release of "Hashashin Chant" allowing for as giddy a song as they'd released that year, Voices of Dust is overall a lighter-toned -- by degree -- effort in comparison to the previous two installments. "Rain and Shame" may have its dark swirls, but the concluding synth line is almost pure ambient techno from 1993, for example. Certainly, there are contrasting numbers in turn, like the moody chant and hand-percussion rush of "Viento de Levante," but the effect is more strangely melancholy than suggestively doomy. "Repository of Light," at over 11 minutes the longest on this release -- is also the rarest of things for Demdike Stare at this point: something exultant. If not exactly anthemic trance, the blend of slow-pulsing beats, a main texture somewhere between squeezebox and metallic drone, and, in the second half, a bubbling and openly melodic synth part provide a just different-enough twist on their signature blend to suggest where they might be heading next.

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