STM 083 - Demdike Stare

Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare

Photo from DS personal archive

Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare made a scenic mix connecting 23 eclectic records released between 1970s and 2010s.


The authors of the mix are Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker, a British experimental electronic music duo who sculpts obscure masterworks under the metaphorical Demdike Stare moniker (Demdike was the most famous of the Pendle witches). Successfully debuted in the 2009 with an enigmatic album named “Symbiosis”, a project effectively continued to impress die-hard music lovers with their expressive sound collages. Remaining loyal to the prolific Modern Love record label, Demdike Stare has now released 5 critically acclaimed albums and numerous singles. Their occult soundtracks are based on gloomy ambiance, penetrating melodic cuts and abyssal rhythm textures that are often enriched with fragments of world music. However, their 2013 “Testpressing” vinyl's trilogy examines much wider palette of sounds ranging from jungle, deep house style beats to industrial, noise motives. Accompanied by Andy Votel's (Finders Keepers Records) symbolic artworks and suggestive visuals from retro horror or surrealistic movies, Demdike Stare keeps a well-balanced stylistic integrity. Their live shows are like unexplored narratives, that always surprise with their improvised rhythmic / atmospheric lines and cinematic sense. Demdike Stare also curates Pre-Cert label. It is important to mention that Whittaker is one half of Pendle Coven (with Gary Howell) and also produces music under MLZ, Suum Cuique and Miles pseudonyms. His newest release “Faint Hearted” surely pretends to be on the Secret Thirteen best albums of the year list.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 083” is a scenic and resilient audio selection that connects 23 rediscovered eclectic records released between 1970 and 2013. Thoroughly compiled, qualitatively developed and constantly, but easily shifting and increasing mix will not leave you indifferent. The concept of Demdike Stare mix is based around researching and finding music that is relevant in the present, but originally comes from anytime in the last 40 years. It is inspiring to hear that Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker are sharing their lightly resonating musical discoveries in a such delicate and liberal manner thus completely maintaining a fundamental temperament of Demdike Stare. Refined intersections between accurate static pieces by notable composers such as Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Henry, Egisto Macchi and improvisational masterworks by alternative multi-instrumentalists and bands such as Michel Redolfi, Fabio Fabor, Tony Williams Lifetime, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe amaze and inspire. Intermittently incorporated electronic dance music tracks by artists such as Experimental Audio Research, Oliverwho Factory and Doctor Rockit enrich the surface of this mix with an old-fashioned drum machine beat patterns and purified synthesizer chords. The diverse mixture of works from different times and cultures gives this influential selection an enduring value, a joy of unpredictability, dynamism and flexibility. The whole sustained architecture of this compilation mainly stands on frequently emerging authentic rhythms, rich instrumentation, intensively weaving and colliding forceful effects and dense soundscapes. However, it is hard to define each part completely, as each part is unique and carries weighty micro sound particles and tones exposure. This mix requires good quality speakers and comfortable environment to feel it completely and perceive its hypnotic convulsions as well as entire mysterious magnetism that is gradually penetrating into one's unconscious after a few times of deep listening.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 083” is like an esoteric Adnan Coker's abstract art painting “Untitled” where playful shapes, cosmic colours and smooth shadows create a specific monumental formation that exists in an immeasurable dimension. Coker presents the simplicity of form, methodical geometry and significance of celestial blackness in a such deliberate way that these unique elements and values in the blink of an eye turn into an universal language of the species. Demdike Stare's artistic selection indirectly reflects painting's structural and ideological composition that demonstrates tradition, longevity, intelligence, mystery and subtle minimalism. Without a doubt, this solid contribution to Secret Thirteen Mix series expands and strengthens Demdike Stare's identity and helps listeners to predict Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker's future tendencies. It is a perfect example of how two strong personalities can come together, merge their utopian ideas to create an extraordinary chef-d'oeuvre that mirrors their musical sophistication and solidity.

1. Bernard Parmegiani - Accidents / Harmoniques [INA-GRM, 1975]
2. Fabio Fabor - Monsieur Mysterious [Orly, 1973]
3. Bernard Parmegiani - Geologie Sonore [INA-GRM, 1975]
4. Experimental Audio Research - Untitled [Mille Plateaux, 1997]
5. Oliverwho Factory - Together [Madd Chaise Inc, 2003]
6. No Hassle From The Man - No Hassle From The Man [Not On Label, 1990]
7. Philippe Doray / Asociaux Associés - Clair Et Net [Scopa Invisible, 1980]
8. The Tony Williams Lifetime - Once I Loved [Polydor, 1970]
9. Pedro Iturralde Quintet Featuring Paco De Lucia - El Vito (edit) [SABA, 1968]
10. Pierre Henry - Communion [Philips, 1970]
11. Traktor - Traktor Artists [Not On Label, 1995]
12. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - M'Bondo [Type, 2013]
13. Wolfgang Dauner/Eberhard Weber/Jürgen Karg/Fred Braceful - (excerpt 1) [Calig, 1969]
14. Wolf Eyes - Stabbed In The Face [Veglia, 2003]
15. Egisto Macchi - Siberia [Cometa Edizioni Musicali, 1983]
16. Nigel Mazlyn Jones - From Ship to Shore [Isle Of Light, 1976]
17. Folke Rabe - Was ?? [WERGO, 1970]
18. Wolfgang Dauner/Eberhard Weber/Jürgen Karg/Fred Braceful - (excerpt 2) [Calig, 1969]
19. Mecanica Popular - Baku: 1922 [Grabaciones Accidentales, 1987]
20. Michel Redolfi - The Underwater Park At Sunset [INA-GRM, 1980]
21. Reagenz - Ü [Reflective, 1994]
22. Doctor Rockit - Ready To Rockit [Clear, 1995]
23. Giampiero Boneschi - Caldo Caldo [Fonit, Year Unknown]

About Author

An interdisciplinary journal, offering eclectic mixes and smart interviews with original artists and label owners as well as contemporary art reviews.


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  4. Chachmaster3000 on

    A perverted unich/bard directed me to this mix. Hope it's good.

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