Boomkat Product Review:
Second in an occasional series of tape releases cataloguing site-specific, previously unreleased recordings by Demdike Stare, this time for the Church of Saint-Merri in Paris earlier this year. The result is a killer 50 minute session re-shaping strings, choral loops, ricocheting drums and sheets of metal into a gauzy fever dream referencing the musical heritage of Paris, from Edition Gravats to GRM, and the incredible space of Saint-Merri itself.
Rendez-Vous Contemporains de Saint-Merry is Demdike at their most contemplative and experimental, tempering quietly euphoric strings with field recorded mayhem and frayed percussion scattered across the stereo field. From there; raw materials disassembled and rewired, tape spools unwound, whispers amplified in the echo chamber, concrète and sacred music re-coded into a collision of disorientating menace and bliss.
There are also diversions; the arpeggiated coda towards the end of the first side, smudged bassdrums and vocal hooks appearing on side B like a mad apparition, and then brushed jazz cymbals unwinding into a fizzing tremor of collapsed sound, ending the tape off like the dust-settling aftermath of some unnatural calamity, re-played in slow motion.