- Since it launched in 2013, Demdike Stare's Testpressing series has been something of a new leaf for the Manchester duo. Each two-track release pushed Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty further down a rabbit hole of jungle/industrial/ambient hybrids, with the occasional detour toward straightforward techno taken for good measure. Now on their seventh (and final) Testpressing, they've emerged with the most cohesive statement since starting the project.
Taking the lead is "Rathe," a ghastly slab of techno that lurks about in a muggy steam. It does an excellent job of juggling the producers' tastes for ominous atmospheres, lurching halftimes and dusty drum samples, but the record's crowning achievement is "Patchwork." In the vein of Whittaker's collaborative side projects Millie & Andrea and Hate, the tune treats jungle like a filthy gym mat—tumbling, flipping and contorting until muck is smeared everywhere. The track is kept grounded during all the commotion by Whittaker and Canty's deft vocal manipulations, which give an otherwise surly and atonal production some graceful melodic touches. Testpressing 007 may be the end of an excellent series, but it's also a thrilling cliff-hanger before the next era of Demdike Stare begins.