Located down the smallest of back alleys in an old textile factory; the discreet venue, Kraak Gallery was the perfect host to Demdike Stare’s darkly ambient set and visual experience this Saturday.
Packed in to the sparcely decorated room, all eyes were on the front in anticipation of this one off audio-visual show. Firstly the talented Andy Votel showed us how it was all done with proper vinyl; only to be taken over by the psychedelic ramblings of N.Racker, with his mix of funk, folk and meditative guitar meanderings reminiscent of Marc’s Bolan’s acid dreams and James Bond’s adventures in the east.
Demdike Stare came on late and their set was unfortunately short – but in that time their layered, progressive beats pulled hypnotically at the assembled crowd; so that by the time of their finish no one could resist and stand still.
The music had been cleverly synced to the visuals behind – this wasn’t just a mismatch of pretty pictures to keep the punters amused; but instead was a choreographed blend of cultish clips that heightened the moody music. The visuals were slightly ’70s soft porn slash b-movie’ cuts that have been done by most electronic bands over the years – but you got a feeling that each frame had been painstakingly chosen to represent the band’s cultish, drone heavy, progressive electronica.
The set may have been short, but by the end of Demdike Stare’s set the crowd was transfixed by the slowly building crescendo that was deceptively deep and complex, drawing each and every viewer in to the visual display or some personal space behind this.
It would not be rude to Demdike Stare to say that they fit in to that niche electronic genre with other such stalwarts as Fuck Buttons and Worried About Satan. Whether this cultish drone would work as well in more polished surroundings has yet to be seen, but the pared down Kraak enabled you to concentrate solely on the music – well that’s what we went there for wasn’t it?