Demdike Stare – Tryptych

Author: Colin | Published: 11/12/10

Demdike Stare - Tryptych

Demdike Stare - Tryptych

Demdike Stare - Tryptych

Demdike Stare - Tryptych

Demdike Stare - Tryptych

Demdike Stare - Tryptych

Artist Demdike Stare
Title Tryptych
Label Modern Love
Year 2010
Design Artwork by Andy Votel; layout by Rada Prepeleac
Music darktechnobassheadabstracthauntingfilmic
Desktop Download image
Notes The inside front cover portrays a ouija board, sometimes referred to as a spirit or talking board. The cover could itself be used as a tool to communicate with the spirit world. Indeed, the planchette has already spelt out a name: Demdike Stare. The woman’s slender hand is in the process of withdrawing or perhaps returning to the scene to trace out further words.

Is it the same woman, face cropped and sporting elbow-length kid gloves, who points towards the runes carved into smooth wooden chips? Are they a form of tarot? Perhaps the table she leans on is covered in green baize (the dimly lit black and white image makes it impossible to be certain) and the game is one of chance not unlike Borges’ The Lottery In Babylon.

There are three more images. In one a cross section of the trunk of a tree reveals its rings, three leaves point away north westwards. The next, enclosed in a circle, gathers together a woman’s penetrating stare, what may be an all-seeing eye on the prow of a small boat and a dead man made doubly sightless by pennies placed upon his eyelids; a blindfolded couple bob for an apple, a wishbone about to snap and a tree is outlined against the sky.

The front cover mixes all these elements and a few more together to create something new – an apt reflection of their musical working methodology. Tryptych compiles Demdike Stare’s three most recent vinyl-only releases (Forest of Evil, Liberation Through Hearing and Voices of Dust) and adds a number of new tracks to each. The sleeve is almost square in proportion and the thick card stock is a tactile pleasure.

The duo take their name from Demdike, née Elizabeth Southerns, said to be the leader of the Pendle Witches. The group was accused of the murder of 17 men and women. Demdike died in prison in 1612 before being brought to trial.

Read more about The Pendle Witches.

Listen Demdike Stare – Voices of Dust album preview


  1. The hair image is a reference to their release “Anworth Kirk” on their Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label. Check it out.

    Comment by Nick — December 13, 2010 @ 8:11 pm
  2. Thanks Nick, I’m sadly ignorant of their other work outside of Demdike.

    Comment by Colin — December 15, 2010 @ 9:47 am
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