Anstam has arrived. After a string of vicious, despairing EPs culminating with June’s Baldwin/Carmichael on 50 Weapons, German-born Lars Stöwe has finally released his debut full-length entitled Dispel Dances on the same label. From the raw opening chimes of Watching the Ships Go Down it’s clear that this is not your average EDM record. Anstam has taken the undertone of fear that was just beneath the surface of his previous releases and ran with it. The music on offer here is aggressive and terrifying, jutting hunks of sound hurled at the listener while dystopian junglism propels the album inexorably onwards.
Dispel Dances lurches between the soul-crushing dread garage of Bitten by the Snake to more traditional, vaguely baroque numbers, such as Black Friesian Monoliths’ horror-movie staccato strings or Say My Name’s ominous, festering pads. In other hands, such clichés as wailing violins could come off as cheesy, but what Anstam does with his Frankenstein’s monster of barbaric, staggering breakbeats is remind you why these things became clichés in the first place. Anstam sets out to scare you, and though his methods may not be new, the manner and style of their execution certainly is.