As audio animatronics of the
continue cackling & crackling from lap-tops to parties to venue stages at such a high-voltage, even the most obstinate blogger who scoffed six months ago that this [quote] “tumblr hipster bullshit” [that] “just live[s] on blogs and MySpace ha ha” might dare agree that—run-on sentences & forum snark notwithstanding — indeed there’s something/something’s in the air…
∞ ❖ ∞
∞ ❖ ∞
Not only are the groups’ names being spoken — †‡† is pronounced “Rrritualzzz,” FYI — but these makers of music & mayhem have also entered the arena of giggery. Personal appearances. Merchandising. Just, you know, going through the motions, as if they were *AHEM!* actual artists rather than the punch-line of an elaborate internet hoax.
Not bad for a micro-genre, complete-with-mocking-air-quotes. A genre, incidentally, that’s escaped the internet ethers within which it was once confined: fodder for chat rooms, flame wars, skeezy mp3-swaps-&-swipes via Rapidshare…
∞ ❖ ∞
No, this isn’t the first time I’ve written about witch house, & it’s highly unlikely it’ll be my last. Point of the matter is: I’m not alone. There’s been a veritable tidal wave of media addressing the subject as of late, some of which I’ll provide links to here in a hot little minute. However, first and foremost, I feel compelled to acknowledge Tom Ewing of The Guardian [ UK ], who — albeit indirectly — alluded to a correlation between the cinematic quality of the genre and what Samuel Taylor Coleridge referred to as the ‘willing suspension of disbelief.’
Ewing’s articles concludes:
“That is why witch house isn’t for the casual listener — not because it’s hard to find, or expensive, or particularly “difficult,” but because it requires a certain sacrifice of reserve, maybe even of dignity: you buy into it whole or not at all. In that sense it fits its horror trappings perfectly — a ghost story requires exactly the same willingness to be affected. You might still come away thinking it’s rubbish — aesthetics can be poorly realised or fundamentally flawed, after all (and ghost stories not scary). But what witch house tells me is that genres now aren’t exercises in innovation or marketing, so much as ways of framing an experience. And if you won’t feel open to that experience, your investigation of it won’t get far.”
Coleridge coined the phrase ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ with regard to poetry and literature. At this juncture in time (1817), writings involving the supernatural were no longer en vogue, in part “due to the declining belief in witches and other supernatural agents among the educated classes, who embraced the rational approach to the world offered by the new science.”
In other words, Coleridge strove to kindle the fantastic elements in his art and keep the carbon-tinged flames ablaze, rather than mire his subject matter within the so-called ‘logical’ world. Conversely, he strove to bring the reader within his opium-drenched dreamscape.
By that same token, Travis Egedy of Pictureplane is credited for inventing the catch-phrase ‘witch house’ &emdash; this internet meme that’s become a cultural movement — which in a blog post he explains is “a comment about aesthetics, with a genuine interest in the occult and magic…”
Egedy continues: “Now, it seems that there is a genuine intellectual interest in what is happening within this whole aesthetic synchronicity known as witch house, and for good reason. Music is always a reflection of what is happening within the current consciousness of human beings, especially progressive musics. And witch house is no exception. Something is going on. We are evolving. REMEMBERING the ancient ways as we shift into the next age. To coin the god terence mckenna, an “archaic revival” is underfoot within our contemporary technological existence. Witch House could have only come about through that magical organic entity known as the internet, where all information is ready to be accessed. Especially that within art, culture and music, of which Witch House is an alchemical brew of multiple styles, sounds, movements, and genres. It represents our current pop cultural landscape far better than someone like Katy Perry.
Interesting, indeed…as is the historical parallel between Coleridge and Egedy.
much-longer-ago-than-I’d-rather-admit. On the contrary, have some linkage; draw your own conclusions…You know, baby: ‘Get into it.’
∞ ❖ ∞
Etymology of the term ‘Witch House’ on Mishka’s Bloglin
Mishka’s Response to the New York Times article on the legacy of DJ Screw
∞ ❖ ∞
Now, on the tip of nomenclature, of the naming of a genre — I’m hereby providing a list of acts that have been classified as “witch house” at some juncture in time. Consider it a primer, if you will, for this ineffable sound best described by the emotions it culls — or in the words of [screen name] Comadoser from the Witch-House.com forum: ”For those who prefer their mood chilling rather than chilled.”
:: the list is akin to a page torn from a bruja’s Book of Shadows ::
Said another way? I have about as much interest in ˣgrand deliberationsˣ over who’s missing — or conversely, whom should be booted from the line-up & burned at the proverbial stake — as I do repeating the arduous task of tracking down these effers’ URLs.
Because I’m telling you, & I’m telling you now: it’s an infuriating thing, tryin’ to google ~teh web-dings…
O.O.O., h▲ziness, Fostercare, /< U +/\/\ å |-|, Dream Boat, NIKE7UP, How I Quit Crack,
PWIN ▲▲ TEAKS, Madame O und Ihre Kopffilm Bande, SHAMS, GuMMy†Be▲R, TEARIST,
†ZXZ†, Unison, Vortex Rikers, †een Wi†ch, NATTYMARI, PICTUREPLANE, GR†LL GR†LL,
taiga△△△, High Park, GL▲SS †33†H, Modern Witch, SØAP ØPERA, fromrussiawithaids,
semihcllod ⋊⊼⋉, sssandcas†lesss, ∆AIMON, Young Cream, BL§§D ØU† , ~▲~, //TENSE//,
twghtZoNe, Gr†ll Gr†ll, YOGA, oOoOO, CREEP, Shazzula, ✝ DE△D VIRGIN ✝,◼powwowW,
Zola Jesus, ▲, ZON, Modern S†alking, ❖, BLΛCK RΛ!NB0VV, \\\^◊^///
as well as
the :: aurgasm :: inducing ::
Mater Suspiria Vision:
The visions he creates — amalgamations of obscure Italian horror films mixed & layered like diaphonous strips of fabric in technocolor-drenched hues over his own recorded footage — are ineffable distractions from reality. So adeptly synced with his choice of medium, he is, that as a viewer, oftentimes it takes a physical reaction [ the sound of my teeth chattering, for instance, or the sensation that my skull is vibrating & my hair is smudging the atmosphere with spider-web "tracers" ] to break the trance his video artistry induces.
It’s as if the emotional velocity is too lethal — or arcane — to translate into language.
total fire-power dream powder//
It’s Thee Answer, maing…
∞ ❖ ∞
whose absence from this list would be absurd.
After all, over the course of the last few months, they’ve been the singular most potent force dominating my laptop/torturing my eardrums & straining my car’s stereo system during late-night haunts: roaming the littered & glittered streets of L.A., the narcotic synthesizer sludge of King Night
enveloping me in a warm hallucinogenic bliss.
“It’s hard to remember
What we did last November
It’s hard to forget
What we haven’t done yet
It’s easy to let go
Of everything you know
& say goodbye…”
∞ ❖ ∞
Hovering somewhat precariously above the malevolent feedback and heavy beat of “Redlights,” Heather Marlatt’s vocals are light: like a drizzle. It’s a beautiful track, King Night‘s ”Redlights,” though I’m particularly fond of an earlier version. There’s a sepia-tinged quality to it that — well, I just provided a download link. Give it a listen; you’ll think what you think.
∞ ❖ ∞
s h a d o w s c a p e s ± s y n t h e s i z e r s ± s i n i s t e r ± s o u l – s c o r c h i n g ± s u b l i m e
∞ ❖ ∞
∞ ❖ ∞
& Ç⋵ℜ⋻♏ð♑ℷa⇂ ╀,
who — rather than eschew the evolution of language, of specificity — has assembled quite an impressive arsenal of his own terminology to classify the mystic aural-electrical engineering he creates. Whether it’s ‘Deathbient,’ ‘Ghoultech,’ ‘Glitch-Witch,’ ‘Demonic Trance,’ or ‘Gloombient,’ the mastermind of kemikore mediaworks summates:
“sound is the magical weapon
I call it electrowitchery”
∞ ❖ ∞
:: other resources ::
∞ ❖ ∞
∞ ❖ ∞
as well as
:: essential blogature ::
O.K., if you read — or even skimmed — my lengthy-&-chock-full-o’-linkage post “Goth’s Mutant Offspring” & exerted the effort to click the prompt to “Read/See” More? If you didn’t notice the quasi-sacrireligi-fully-sexy *COUGH!* ”up-cycled” image that accompanies Meatbreak‘s brilliant mix Stop Making Séance from his home base, Not For Resale?
Well, then perhaps you don’t already know that NFR rules.
[ It does, & he does...so get to it! ]
∞ ❖ ∞
It’s like I told you…
∞ ❖ ∞
:: additional press coverage by ::
Yeah . . . Yeah, that should keep you busy awhile.