A sprawling survey of the Demdike Stare universe.
There may also be an hour of new Demdike Stare dread tucked into Stitch By Stitch, which at last twines together the two distinct yet oddly parallel paths the duo have taken over the years. On the one hand, the horror-movie ambience that defined the group when they emerged in 2009. On the other, the bracing, hardcore continuum-centered tracks they began dropping in 2013 with the Testpressing series. Their last two albums, Wonderland and Passion, hewed towards the latter. But eight cassette sides give ample room for Canty and Whittaker's musical interests: dizzying jungle, euphoric 2-step and what sounds like icy grime—actually Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian—to name a few found on Stem's A-side.
But trainspotting every sliver soon becomes a fool's errand, which is a shame when you find yourself desperately trying to source, say, the track with the tinny female vocals and foreboding bells midway through Chain's A-side. Along the way, one can find Annette Peacock, Haruomi Hosono, Antipop Consortium, Anthony Shakir and Cody ChestnuTT strewn about. But just as likely, you will find yourself faced with the ineffable and the unknown. Canty and Whittaker have a knack for alternating between the pastoral and nightmarish, between exquisite, body-dissolving drifts and the sense of getting hacked to pieces on the set of Suspiria. For those who manage to find it—all four tapes were quickly snatched up upon release—Stitch By Stitch will make for quite a trip.