I haven’t posted any witchy stuff lately because….uh, not much to post I guess? Honestly I’ve just been listening to Ghost Town DJs and electrohouse (remember that stuff? It still exists!) non-stop. Thankfully ✝ NO VIRGIN ✝ was kind enough to send me his brand new track so we can all get our suspiria visions on. Heavy 808s, heavy atmosphere. I hear church bells ringing, I hear the choir of insects crying to the heavens. “Someone’s at the door…”
It’s a video day! This is the beautiful ButterClock's new one, featuring her track 'Beverly Hills' and with visuals by Black Swan. If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like inside my head, this is as close as you can come without surgery.
Damn, what can I say. It’s been a slow few days, not much to write about except a few key leaks and such and I’m stuck indoors with only a copy of 28 Gun Bad Boy to keep me company. So it’s another dance mixtape, from me to you. A bit of Chicago house and a newer cut from the awesome Spoek Mathambo, but mainly some of my fave late ’80s/early ’90s rave, with some nasty ol’ bad vibes tossed in at the end from a buddy of mine. And yeah, those are snippets of dialogue from Clarissa Explains It All….late-night viewing going hand-in-hand, just how I work. Too much flava for witches but just enough power for my bitches. Cutting-edge? Maybe not. Fun as hell? Believe.
When witch house hit this year, it hit big. Or as big as a blog-derived genre can get, anyway. Suddenly everyone was gothing out and pretending they knew what purple drank was. Bigger dudes like Pitchfork, Drowned In Sound and even freakin’ Warren Ellis started being all, “Hey, guys: NEW THING” and that paved the way for more people to download Wavepad and copy/paste a symbol into their name. And that’s when it all started to go wrong.
It seems like every other day I see another band pop up with a long line of crosses and triangles and what’s basically a slowed-down Beyonce track. Guess what! For a music genre to be interesting, it has to be based on creating music. Balam Acab is a good band because he’s making achingly beautiful, dubstep-influenced beats that speak to the teenager inside us all. NIKE7Up is a good band because dude is like the Shadow Earth Girl Talk, warping pop music beyond simple screw edits into sinister-ass Top 40 hits that you can still jam out to. Groups like Butterclock and UNISON are good bands in an even more traditional sense; twisting cool, icy diva vocals around minimal synths. Pictureplane is a good band because his live shows kill, his music is transcendental mutant house, and he invented the damn name anyway. SALEM is a good band provided they’re cloaked in fog/darkness/vocal effects because even though they have epic studio output they’re still just three white people rapping. ┼┼E∆VY NI†E_†UR► and his slowed-down Soulja Boy track is not a good band or even a band at all, it’s a dude with ADD trying to ride the bandwagon.
I’m not saying slowed music is bad; groups like AIDS-3D and Mater Suspiria Vision do this to great effect because it works in tandem with the videos they create, i.e. it’s more an art project than anything else. And of course it all comes from DJ Screw originally. But to build a genre, something original has to come from it. And if it can’t, then witch house is better off dead. Wear your influences on your sleeve if you have to. Refuse to play unless you’re surrounded by fog machines. Hell, shove a million crosses into your band name until you’re nothing but crosses and everyone calls you The Cross, but MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MUSIC.
At the very least, leave Beyonce alone. Her tracks are good enough at normal speed.
SANAFU is a witchy new young artist from India evoking the great god of the 808s. He’s created a new mixtape that perfectly captures the gray Brighton weather surrounding me right now. As I lie in bed, coughing and slipping into a Benadryl-induced slumber, my mind conjures up looming end-times monsters. Get down with the sickness.
I’d never heard of Scooter before I went to Germany a few years ago, but I suspect it doesn’t sound nearly as good as this. Thankfully ℑ⊇≥◊≤⊆ℜ and Cosmotropia de Xam are around to turn it into a drugged-n-dragged flesheating floorkiller. This monster is going to be appearing on the next installment of their incredible Zombie Rave mixtape series, out in less than a week! Keep your eyes open; these go fassssst; in the meantime, grab ya cough syrup, press ► and dance.
The thing that draws me to witch house is not necessarily the dark aspects of it, or even my love of screw and juke, but rather the appreciation of pop music on a warped level. This tendency to reconstruct Top 40 hits and old R&B into mindbenders works on several levels: it satisfies my love of pop (something that grows as I age, more ‘Bobblehead’ than ‘Beachy Head’ these days but growing up is dying) and soothes my inner mutant at the same time. So it goes with Pregnancy Pact, one of the newer ritvalists on the scene. Here we have a complete breakdown of the Ace Of Bass song ‘Dancer In A Daydream’, turning the Swedish ’90s sensations into harbingers of doom and ecstasy. The video is even more disturbing; not only is it a showcase of the effects of a life of candy-tripping (sweaty gropez seems a bit unchill on dancefloor, RavePrism is for everyone not just couples >:( sheesh), but can you imagine have your dad come with you to a rave?? Boom, now you’re the lamest d00d at the party. Scary stuff indeed.
Today has me melting for the wailing witchiness of Valentina Mushy. Emerging from Rome’s shadows like some twisted Dario Argento siren, she weaves a bellissimo incubo of Pocahauntings fit for the grandest of okkvlt ritvals. She also works with one of my fave video/noisemakers Mater Suspiria Vision, and they’ve recently released a few videos of their collaborations. Check out my favorite one below, and download her sounds to be sucked into a world of dark ruins and mysterious red-cloaked figures.
I love pop, and I love warped weirdness. Tri Angle has captured the spirit of both in a new free mixtape, wherein bands like Oneohtrix Point Never, oOoOO, and Laurel Halo do bizarre reinterpretations of Lindsay Lohan tunes. Together with these NIKE7UP remixes, I’ve been having a Bizzaro Pop day, freefloating through a perfect world where there’s no such thing as normal and The Normal is available as a ringtone.
I’ve endure way too many sweltering, unairconditioned buses and trains on this tour; thankfully Unison are icy relief. They’ve already got blogs dripping with lust thanks to their outstanding remix of White Ring's 'Suffocation', but the French duo of Julien and Melanie will make you positively gush with their debut EP Outside. Crackling menace haunts their every beat, from the skeletal guitar notes to the wavering synths that pulse in time to Melanie’s siren song. A perfect example of another side of what the enfant terrible Witch House can be, Outside is the cold gust of electronic dank to the warm cup of chopnscrwd drank.
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