(2011 Jul 29) Dangerous Minds publishes 'Enter The Witch House'

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(2011 Jul 29) Dangerous Minds publishes 'Enter The Witch House'

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https://dangerousminds.net/comments/gue ... itch_house

Written by Bram E. Gieben
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Bram E. Gieben (aka Texture) is the editor of the Edinburgh-based fiction/non-fiction website Weaponizer, and also co-founder of the net label Black Lantern Music. I asked him to write DM a primer on the genre “witch house”:

The Niallist (aka Niall O’Conghaile) asked me to write something about witch house, summing it up, providing a genre overview, and talking about some of the artists I’ve discovered over the last year or so. The problem is witch house is nothing like a traditional genre. It is not defined by a tempo, a style of production, a specific group of artists, a region or country or city, or any of the things one could use to pigeonhole, say, shoegaze, dubstep or hip-hop. Even the pool of influences from which it draws are so diverse as to stagger the mind of even the most ardent avant garde completist: witch house can (and does) sound like everything from experimental noise and drone to EBM and darkwave and aggrotech, from hip-hop to punk rock and black metal, often all at the same time.

Witch house is perhaps the first anti-genre, in that it has always actively resisted not just definition, but also detection. Much mockery has been made of artists spelling their band names with strange typographic symbols, but in the early days of witch house this had a specific intent: namely to create a ‘lexical darknet’ (to quote Warren Ellis, the comics writer and novelist whose blog posts led me to my first discoveries in the field), whereby fans had to use the specific symbols in the band names to locate their music online.

Witch house has incubated and mutated on free music sharing platforms such as Soundcloud and Bandcamp, and survives and breeds on private forums like www.witch-house.com, and on invite-only Facebook groups like Witchbook and Dior Nights, which use Facebook to run miniature secret societies and covens. These technologies (or services, however you want to define them) are core to the distribution of the music, but equally important have been the Tumblr and Vimeo platforms. The cut-and-paste ethos behind many witch house projects extends to their visuals, and the gifs, music videos and photo collages that populate artists’ feeds and channels are as much a part of the aesthetic of witch house as the music is.

The equal importance of visual and audio material helps us get closer to a definition of witch house: it is a mood or a feeling, the kind of atmosphere generated by the seminal Goblin’s soundtrack for ‘Suspiria,’ the creeping, schizophrenic suspense of the Laura Palmer mystery, or the Red Room at the heart of Twin Peaks, the final twenty minutes of The Wicker Man, or a basement rave in the house at the end of The Blair Witch Project. In repose, it generates an aura of ritual, darkness and suspense. In motion, it combines the glamour of fetish clubs and serial murder and hard drugs into an amoral dystopia of sound and vision.

Excited yet? You should be. Witch house is almost completely free from the constraints of mainstream hype - aside perhaps from the majestic witch pop of S4LEM, the mysterious feedback glyphs of WU LYF, and the luxurious electronic experimentation of Balam Acab, the three artists closest to crossing over into mainstream consciousness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IvoN4YUF4o

For the most part, its artists are incredibly underground - legends only in the hearts and minds of those that follow them. Admittedly, the hipster recognition factor has spawned many a merry band of symbol-inflected wannabes. But for the most part, witch house is still made up of artists committed to a DIY ethos and a neo-goth aesthetic, interested only in the making and destroying of sounds and visuals. Witch house only exists as a construct, a figment, or even better, a ghost: the minute you look at it head on, it disappears.

Even the term ‘witch house’ is a ghostly: you won’t find the music I’m discussing neatly marked and tagged as witch house, neither in a record shop, on Soundcloud, or anywhere else. The music is just as likely to style itself as ghostwave, witchstep, chillwave, screwgaze, ritual, okkvlt, cryptobass, tranq, drag, gothstep, or a thousand other names, some probably being concocted as we speak from the arcane brew of influences that boil and bubble in the cauldron of this fascinating, fragmented, newborn movement.

Some heroes of the genre:

Nattymari, who in a recent essay redefined the witch house genre as ‘RPG funk’ (a massively multiplayer online role-playing game whose medium is the remix and the original composition) is one of the genre’s most interesting characters. His ‘obliterations’ of popular and obscure songs recontextualise pop and hip-hop in bizarre and sonically challenging ways, and his drag mixtapes trace the thick seam of hip-hop and bass music present in witch house (by way of his beloved DJ Screw).

†‡† (Ritualz), who make incredibly infectious hypercolour death metal trance, hail from from Mexico City. †‡† are the epitome of witch house in many ways, melding goth sensibilities and aesthetics with rave and hip-hop sounds. More importantly, their tunes are insanely catchy and dancefloor-friendly, and produced with a slick sheen that is the polar opposite of many WH artists’ lo-fi ethos.

https://vimeo.com/24912319

Disaro Records, an often controversial label which nonetheless has achieved much in popularising the movement through tours, solid-state releases and online notoriety. Notable bands associated with Disaro are the utterly fantastic and terrifying WHITE RING, exuberant post-dubstep kid GuMMy†Be▲R, and electro abusers PARTY TRASH.

Textbeak, an American producer and DJ whose regular podcasts are a must for the listener new to the genre, and whose recent album ‘Lovecraft’ upped the tempo, and explored crunchy, distorted IDM territory.

Tundra Dubs, a San Francisco based label whose avant-garde pop take on witch house and dark electronica is another brilliant advert for the sheer diversity of the genre, supporting some incredible artists like the sublimely epic A▲IMON, the archly hip Skeletonkids, and the baroque Funerals.

https://vimeo.com/20504120

DATERAPE, whose polished, melancholy electro / breaks take on witch house is beautifully understated and incredibly well thought through.

FOSTERCARE, whose multi-tracked, pitch-distorted sing-song raps and searing, scattershot breakbeats synthesize crunk, drag and screw with feedback, drones and techno bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ryHNEqWUjQ

Vagina Vangi, a Russian combo whose sweeping, neo-gothic stadium pop sounds like Siouxsie Sioux fronting the evil twins of Daft Punk and Sparks.

GVCCI HVCCI, a mysterious pop / hip-hop princess who raps about fucking goth boys with studded black dildoes, coming on like M.I.A. in the middle of a fight to the death with Lady GaGa.

MATER SUSPIRIA VISION, whose creeping, synth-led soundscapes are as transcendentally earth-shaking as their elaborate, cross-cut videos

https://vimeo.com/25723952
MATER SUSPIRIA VISION - Paradise of New H (INVERTED TRIANGLE II LP - 2011, Phantasma Disques) from Mater Suspiria Vision on Vimeo.

... and of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout to the collective I myself have become involved with, the incredibly talented group of musicians over at the netlabel AURAL SECTS, a new collective dedicated to expanding the genre and testing its limits, from the neo-industrial rhythms of zxz, to the spaced out narcotic bliss of I AM WATER and MOON MIRROR, to the fuzzed-out sound abuse of Tash Willmore and †▲βU∩∩Y▲†.

Now, I could spend the rest of the day naming bands and getting you to follow them (80s Stallone, oOoOO, EV1LR1VER, High Park, I††, howiquitcrack, Kitty Lectro, NANCY, powwoww, BL/\CK CEILING, Story of Isaac, UNISON, WIK▲N... see?), or you could just hook yourself up with a Tumblr, a Soundcloud page, and a file full of ascii code symbols… and explore for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkBlJCIW_Q0

Yes, your friends will tell you to turn it off, that it isn’t music. Yes, they will judge you to be an irredeemably pretentious hipster. No, your goth friends won’t respect you either - they STILL only listen to Ministry and the Sisters of Mercy. No, nobody else you know in the much-vaunted ‘real world’ will know what the fuck you’re on about.

But what you will bear witness to is a revolution in progress. The best new DIY, bedroom-produced underground music being made today, presented in such a way that it is nigh-on impossible for the mainstream to co-opt. A powerful, addictive, stolen kind of music: the kind that makes you feel at peace and alienated at the same time. The kind of music that runs from definitions and pigeonholes, and laughs in the face of convention.

People, this is the nadir of the ‘MySpace revolution’ which started all those years ago. This is the rise of a generation of producers who already believe they are ‘post music industry’. This is where it all happens, and this is what you’ve been waiting for. Think your mind’s dangerous enough? Then put down your Steely Dan and your Rolling Stones, surrender your beloved Ghostface and Soul Train, and step inside the witch house. We’re waiting for you.

Post Script:
Bram E. Gieben makes music as Texture. His album ‘Sigil Kids’ is out now on Aural Sects, and his ‘Neuroleptica Trilogy’ of EPs is available from Black Lantern Music. You can hear Texture’s “Ghost Nebula” witch haus/drag mix here.


Comments section:
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Jul 29, 2011
James R says:

People still care about witch house? Good grief.

Jul 29, 2011
Ron M. says:

With James, been hearing this name thrown around for 2 years now, it’s rubbish, bunch of tossers.

Jul 29, 2011
Ben Tundra says:

That’s fine you guys feel like that - but why belittle an entire sub genre? This article is really well written (in my opinion at least) and isn’t telling you that you HAVE to love witch house or whatever you want to call it. It’s an article trying to inform you of what’s happening. There is a lot of tools in witch house as there is in any genre, but there’s MORE amazing people involved with it now than ever before. I’m willing to bet you guys saw “witch house” and decided to post a comment. Maybe read the article and then comment. At least then you’ll be more informed.

Jul 29, 2011
Justin Farrar says:

I dig a decent portion of this music. However, this line is just silly:

“But what you will bear witness to is a revolution in progress. The best new DIY, bedroom-produced underground music being made today, presented in such a way that it is nigh-on impossible for the mainstream to co-opt.”

I’m reading this article on a website that has ads for gas stations. That’s fine by me, but nothing is beyond co-option.

Jul 29, 2011
the Matching Mole says:

I like this Witch House stuff, I really do. It’s loud and crunchy and creepy, and sure to make your parents scared. But I think the revolution is in the social media, not how the music is made.

Smersh. Gelatinous Citizen. Controlled Bleeding. Leibstandarte SS MB. Hunting Lodge. Boy Dirt Car. Skinny Puppy. Bushido. Black Humor. All were making underground creepy gothic LPs in their parents’ basements in the 1980s. Shit, Stephen Jones of Severed Heads built his own video synthesizers, so the video mashups would be similar to the sound mashups.

Jul 29, 2011
KIDS THESE DAYS says:

People still care about witch house? Good grief.

I know! What are they like?!?!?

I like tinie tempah.

Jul 29, 2011
Brant Showers says:

I have to agree with Ben Tundra, it’s genuinely sad to me that people feel the need to dismiss something based on the name alone or some loose concept surrounding that name; especially in a genre filled with as much diversity and revolutionary thinking. It’s not necessary for everyone to love everything and I have no ill-feelings towards anyone who dislikes “witch house” music, but I personally feel it only disservices the individuals themselves who make a deal out of the name. The new wave of artists within are currently evolving the traditions of music in a way that is intensely important to the people who do appreciate it. It would do one well to get over the labels and leave the music to those that enjoy it.

Jul 29, 2011
Macho Pikachu says:

That’s fine by me, but nothing is beyond co-option.

Isn’t the point more the mainstream won’t co-opt it? It hides in plain sight, really, and could be used to soundtrack an advert as easily as anything. I always figured it was purposefully “difficult-listening”, and that was what insulates it form the rest of the spectacle.

I’d counsel against getting too comfortable, though. People can adapt, and there is almost certainly an ad exec reading this right now thinking that Ritualz might be great for the new adidas TV spot.

Jul 29, 2011
Brant Showers says:

A Balam Acab song has already been used in a commercial so I have no argument in regards to the co-opting concern. However, I personally don’t feel that to be the point. In my experience with the genre, it mostly appeared as a link between musicians that were all synchronously creating works influenced by the underground artists like whom Matching Mole references. I agree with the statement that underground musicians have been involved in this similar movement for decades. What makes this movement different is the underlying social conditions today. If you have any interest in ideas as elucidated upon by Terrence McKenna, many of the more occult inclined musicians see the movement as a response to the changing pantheon. I personally believe it is a build-up of influences working upon artists concurrently independent of each other finally breaking through and finding each other. The listeners unable to create music are still feeling the effects of the aesthetics continuing the movement. It will eventually manifest in some other form as a response to some other cultural shift, and yes, people will say that it has existed before.
This is mostly mine own conjecture so please take it with a grain of salt…

Jul 29, 2011
Justin says:

Personally, I think the supposed synchronistic nature of witch-house is tough to believe in, considering the fact that so many of these artists are profoundly interconnected via the Internet. They all link to one other’s sites/platforms. Surely, this conscious interconnectedness extends to them sharing musical ideas, no?

“Isn’t the point more the mainstream won’t co-opt it? It hides in plain sight, really, and could be used to soundtrack an advert as easily as anything.”

You bring up an interesting point, Macho Pikachu. In fact, I’d say we’re far beyond the very concept of co-option at this point. It seems to me that part of the reason why these bands get create such shadowy names and images has something to do with the fact that Google, Facebook, Bandcamp, etc., have created such powerful tools for discovery and searching. A band can be as mysterious as they want to be these days, because they’re going to be found, especially if they’re using the Web.

“I always figured it was purposefully “difficult-listening”, and that was what insulates it form the rest of the spectacle.”

This I kind of don’t see. I mean, difficulty is subjective, of course. But I think witch-house is really quite catchy and poppy. I’d say it’s the most pop-oriented “underground” movement in quite some time. Just five years ago, “underground” kids were raving about Wolf Eyes, Lightning Bolt, Hair Police and other noise-drenched freaks. Now that’s difficult listening!

Jul 29, 2011
Brant Showers says:

All great and valid points. Regarding the response to my discussion of a synchronistic nature: I can only speak from my personal experience, to which I can state it definitely manifested itself in that form for me. Obviously the genre is as open to any varying degree of “authenticity” or beliefs as any other so it would be naive to think it extended itself entirely from a collective unconscious. Being partly of that belief myself though, I do still feel the motive perhaps underlies a lot of the social sharing and interconnectedness. For what it’s worth my actual reference was towards the initial explosion of the movement and why I particularly find it necessary and important not as much whether the bands are sharing ideas as they clearly would be at this point… Just clarifying my opinions on the subject.
Honestly enjoying the points made here. Refreshing to participate in a quality discussion.

Jul 29, 2011
wi_ngo says:

Great article. Just learned about some awesome bands.

Reminds me of some of the stuff I was listening to in the early ‘90s. Throbbing Gristle, Chemlab, Skinny Puppy, FLA, Sister Machine Gun, etc.

Jul 29, 2011
tristan eldritch says:

I really dig witch-house, but was probably fated to, having been a fanatical Dario Argento fan for many years. Great post, curious about one line “People, this is the nadir of the ‘MySpace revolution’ which started all those years ago” - don’t you mean the opposite of nadir there?

Jul 29, 2011
Justin says:

like any genre, witch house has some definite gems and innovative musicians, it also has a lot of circle jerking and total copy cat “bands”.

who cares who’s “talking” about a genre? fuck. go back to pitchfork

Jul 29, 2011
Ben Tundra says:

This article isn’t about “talking about” witch house - it’s far more informative than anything Pitchfork has written. It’s not perfect or infallible, but if someone’s not sure where to go for some witch house tracks, this is it.

Jul 29, 2011
Justin says:

that was aimed at james r., not the writer

Jul 29, 2011
†▲βU∩∩ℽ▲† says:

What Ben said. And Brant. This is the best and most informative article on Witch Haus yet. If this had been around when I was a n00b I’d have found my way around much faster.

Circle jerk artists are resplendent in any genre, that’s a “no shit Sherlock” moment. The thing is though, the DIY ethic combined with the interconnectedness of the net has taken to not only sharing ideas but an unprecedented amount of feedback for each artist deeper than “cool track, brah”.

Everyone is sharing production tips, ideas, ideals, philosophies, aesthetics etc. and improving one another - not towards homogeneity either which usually happens in any genre, but rather towards preserving the original feel of Witch Haus and spreading it’s stylistic arms further. To borrow from Pictureplane and Zombelle: “Witch Haus is a feeling”.

It is a legit anti-movement. Everyone decided that squarewave synths and 808’s with dragged down vox was Witch Haus, so what did the artists do? Upscrew, use real drums and 909’s, use post dubstep sawtooths and crisp and clear atmospheres - they did the contrary and yet no-one would argue that it wasn’t Witch Haus. Alright, maybe a sub-subgenre, like Seapunk for example (usually as a joke) but it’s still under the umbrella of Witch Haus.

Also saying “OMG ppl still care ‘bout WH? WTF?!” is tantamount at this point to saying “OMG ppl still care about punk?”.

Because of its intangibility and broad concept set but adherence to a central feel, as well as the dedication to the “Totalartwerk” (to paraphrase Wagner) have pretty much ensured that Witch Haus is a long term sticking point, a modular project with replaceable parts.

Nattymari was BLOODY CORRECT to identify Witch Haus as “RPG Funk”.

Jul 29, 2011
†▲βU∩∩ℽ▲† says:

What Ben said. And Brant. This is the best and most informative article on Witch Haus yet. If this had been around when I was a n00b I’d have found my way around much faster.

Circle jerk artists are resplendent in any genre, that’s a “no shit Sherlock” moment. The thing is though, the DIY ethic combined with the interconnectedness of the net has taken to not only sharing ideas but an unprecedented amount of feedback for each artist deeper than “cool track, brah”.

Everyone is sharing production tips, ideas, ideals, philosophies, aesthetics etc. and improving one another - not towards homogeneity either which usually happens in any genre, but rather towards preserving the original feel of Witch Haus and spreading it’s stylistic arms further. To borrow from Pictureplane and Zombelle: “Witch Haus is a feeling”.

It is a legit anti-movement. Everyone decided that squarewave synths and 808’s with dragged down vox was Witch Haus, so what did the artists do? Upscrew, use real drums and 909’s, use post dubstep sawtooths and crisp and clear atmospheres - they did the contrary and yet no-one would argue that it wasn’t Witch Haus. Alright, maybe a sub-subgenre, like Seapunk for example (usually as a joke) but it’s still under the umbrella of Witch Haus.

Also saying “OMG ppl still care ‘bout WH? WTF?!” is tantamount at this point to saying “OMG ppl still care about punk?”.

Because of its intangibility and broad concept set but adherence to a central feel, as well as the dedication to the “Totalartwerk” (to paraphrase Wagner) have pretty much ensured that Witch Haus is a long term sticking point, a modular project with replaceable parts.

Nattymari was BLOODY CORRECT to identify Witch Haus as “RPG Funk”.

Jul 29, 2011
John Gillanders says:

Cool article.

Good to see something about psychedelic music post 1960’s on here.

I could do without Salem’s rapey lyrics and hip hop posturing. Some of this shit is really cool, and in general, it’s trippy as fuck, which is kind of the point.

There was a ton of super dark “noise” shit going down years back at the onset of the myspace age. I put out a bunch of stuff that’s so dark I’m kind of embarrased by it. Thinking about seeing John Wiese of Bastard Noise tonight because it’s up the street, but I just don’t know if I can take an entire night of “noise” at this point. I used to love that stuff. It certainly screws with your head.

In general, I’d say that’s my critique of all this “witch house” stuff (and noise for that matter) - the focus on negativity. Kind of my critique with the occult in general. I’ve been experimenting with this shit for years, and it’s to a large extent about communion with your “Holy Guardian Angel” as they refer to it. Not really a super dark concept i.e. to merge with your angelic side. We can pretty much just say “fuck Crowley” for selling all this horror movie aesthetic crap to the masses. It’s about mastering your demons, understanding them - not intentionally embracing them. Crowley’s “I am The Great Satan” Marilyn Manson style posturing kind of fucked it up, and thusly ensured it attracts a bunch of idiots hoping to channel Satan and inflict revenge on the jocks that tortured them in high school. That shit’s going to backfire on you spectacularly. Crowley died a penniless heroin addict. Just saying.

My experience has been the exact opposite. Since I’ve been dabbling in magick - I make decidedly more upbeat art, get laid more often, and am in general, about a billion times more positive than I used to be. I was always looking too much on the dark side, it brought the balance. Just my experience. I guess if you were too inclined the other way, it might have the opposite effect. Isn’t the reason we refer to this stuff as demonic witchcraft just because that’s how the church demonized it? Way to play into their hands.

Jul 29, 2011
MM says:

I didn’t know anyone ever DID care about witch house. That’s sort of the point, I think.

@Bram: Thanks for taking the time to write this. Keep up the great work )

Jul 29, 2011
Brant Showers says:

Yeah I agree that the occult references are a bit short-sighted and shallow for a lot of the artists and fans involved, but don’t discredit all the participants. The dark music doesn’t necessarily reflect an inclination towards “Crowley’s horror movie aesthetic”... though that certainly is a concern with the uninitiated. I personally identify with the dark in a much more positive way than it seems you do as it is quite comforting to me in a lot of ways. Not to say there isn’t some obvious theatrics… One would hope it’s mostly a form of homage to works by those like Dario Argento and Jodorowsky.
I highly agree in the concept of balance with all things.
Also, to be fair, the occult aspect is a non-issue to a lot of the interested parties. I personally put more stock in it, but again have a positive attitude towards the darker aesthetic.

Jul 29, 2011
MM says:

For real though I can’t believe you mentioned 80’s Stallone. That’s awesome. He’s more italo than dark synth but it just goes to show that the term ‘witch-house’ is meaningless.. it’s all about enjoying and sharing music.

Jul 29, 2011
nike7up says:



Jul 29, 2011
Justin says:

gatekeeper. nuff said

Jul 29, 2011
Zod says:

Great post, a treasure trove to be sure.

Jul 29, 2011
.mzkfan says:

my favorite jam of the summer
Brittney Spears - Till the World Ends (salem rmx)



Jul 29, 2011
Joseph says:

In order to have an intelligent discussion about witch house, you would first have to be able to define it. However, it seems to attempt to avoid being defined which would make it an anti-genre. In order to understand what that might imply, it would help to have an understanding of anti-music, or anti-art for that matter. Examples of anti-music could be industrial, noise, and plunderphonics (which I am surprised isn’t mentioned more often in relation to witch house, considering the amount of remixes/sampling). The problem is there is just as many cliches as diversity in this genre making it a self-parody and hard for anyone to take seriously.

Jul 29, 2011
Brant Showers says:

Not sure I entirely agree with the assessment that something must be defined to be intelligently discussed, but I do see the logical merit of that statement. The final sentence is completely accurate though.

Jul 29, 2011
triangle double dagger triangle says:

i think the best thing about witch house shows is that no one really seems to take it seriously. most of the people at them aren’t even into industrial OR goth OR the rave scene. they’re just kids who dress in black for the night and want to dance but not take themselves seriously enough to be self conscious about it. the goth/industrial scene is fucking boring and filled with middle aged asshats who will only dance to shit from 1983 that they’ve heard 9872459874 times before. i’m in agreement with the gucci goth ppl. “fake goth is the real goth” and i hope it doesn’t change. i like to see less self importance and more silly fun ala bat cave era specimen or alien sex fiend

Jul 29, 2011
spf5Ø says:

Haters gon hate…i like witch house :\ lots of artists are trying to use the basic vibes and their strenghts to make new sonic territories, not everyone is trying to just redo salem believe it or not. In fact i think i’ve met some of the more experimental/innovative artists through witch house social network fun(facebook/sc/tumblr etc), people who are disgusted by the concept of genres and limitations and are using broad strokes which HAPPEN TO BE witchy cause it’s what they enjoy…honestly don’t overanalyze it lads, every genre is prone to it’s share of unoriginal dribble. If you don’t like it, that’s cool, we don’t care. The genre is very self-aware/tongue in cheek maybe you just are taking it all the wrong way, maybe not and it’s just not for you, but i maintain the notion it’s not just a generic limited genre in fact it’s the exact opposite if anything. we’re just a big cult of like-minded individuals finding eachother finally in a cultural shift of social net-working and we just happen to like a lot of the same imagery/sounds, that’s all. in a couple years you’ll see the same people using dark sounds in new ways and you’ll relegate that to shit too…maybe you just don’t like it, maybe that’s ok? but it’s simply not an informed argument you’re proposing is all :p

Jul 29, 2011
Brant Showers says:

fucking amen.

Jul 29, 2011
THE X says:

It’s always good if there are haters of a genre! That identifies a good genre. Did someone take the term Krautrock for germans doing american blues for serious back in the early 70s. NO! Was there a definition? NO!

Jul 30, 2011
Monkey's Uncle says:

Thank you, this has given me something near to feed my insatiable taste for music. I love the spooky shit.

Jul 30, 2011
happydog1960 says:

This is about the fifth new revolution this week, yes?

A lot of this reminds me of the stuff that I used to get from Projekt Records back in the day. I’m not getting where this is real different from that.

Jul 30, 2011
happydog1960 says:

And, relative to nothing except John Gillanders’ post: Don’t talk shit about Crowley until you go to a Gnostic Mass.

Jul 30, 2011
Kyle says:

never heard anyone define Krautrock as germans doing american blues. that’s funny!

Jul 30, 2011
THE X says:

@Kyle: It was indeed back in 1970 - Krautrock was considered as a counterfeit and low budget/cheap version of american blues with bad english. Only bands like Faust were taken serious in UK but were also sold for low budget prices (pay no more than…) to sell this stuff at all.

Regarding the term Krautrock: it also combines so much stuff under it from standard Rock, to experimental (bands like Xhol would be considered as Avantgarde nowadays - but in the 70s it was labeled Krautrock as they were signed by OHR), to Kosmische.

So Krautrock isn’t a genre at all too regarding the music, only for the same nationality of musicians - I personally see some parallels to the Witch House movement in there - and sure there is a lot of crap into this witch house movement and a lot of salem copycats with no own influences. But also interesting, creative stuff - but this is always a matter of personal taste.

Jul 30, 2011
Monkey's Uncle says:

Xenomorph comes to mind after listening to some of these examples.

Jul 30, 2011
Monkey's Uncle says:

Xenomorph - Shaari Avadon



Jul 31, 2011
JC Gonzo says:

@triangle double dagger triangle You just summed up what I hate about my generation. If no one can take anything seriously then there’s no reason to waste time on it. If the sole reason is “to have fun” then I’d just rather jack off than spend time on their jacking off. There’s a large number of Witch House artists who take themselves and their work very seriously, and they’re the only ones that will stand the test of time.

Jul 31, 2011
Bram Gieben says:

Wow thanks for all the comments guys! I think we can all safely agree that the term ‘witch house’ is regarded most skeptically by the artists who are accused of making it

Genres are just shorthand for journalists. If we abandon the term ‘witch house’ then none of the things said above in the comments are really an issue.

I like what MM said:

“For real though I can’t believe you mentioned 80’s Stallone. That’s awesome. He’s more italo than dark synth but it just goes to show that the term ‘witch-house’ is meaningless.. it’s all about enjoying and sharing music.”

That’s what I love about these artists, they can be italo or hip-hop or black metal and still fit the feeling or aesthetic of the scene.

Even calling it a scene is stupid, because a scene is usually associated with a city, even if it then spreads to a global audience. Yes calling it a ‘movement’is overly romantic, and yes people have been making doomy DIY music for decades… but there’s definitely something happening here. Whether it is magickal concordance or just a fad, who knows? I think it has legs.

Apologies for the ‘nadir’ error and any factual fuckups! Yes, it was a qquite pitchfork-y piece… I hope you’ll have my back to write about specific bands.

Thank you for reading.
B

Jul 31, 2011
CR0WWL3Y says:

http://soundcloud.com/cr0wwl3y

Jul 31, 2011
JC Gonzo says:

P.S. Good job Bram Gieben. This is a good comprehensive article.

Jul 31, 2011
Gnar says:

The Disaro label owner loves male prostitutes and crack rocks. True story.

Aug 01, 2011
tickle says:

cheers mr gieben.

a ver good friend of mine is involved in the witchhaus thing but i’ve not been able to pin him down to explain this stuff to me properly.

if only i had had you there all those times i asked him to expalin it more. :D

also love the fact that the first couple of comments were made by SUPER FUCKING COOL GUYS WHO ARE, LIKE, PURE FUCKING YEARS AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSE WHEN IT COMES TO WHAT’S COOL AS FUCK AND WHAT SUCKS ASS, they really showed us all generally and you specifically how SUPER FUCKING COOL AS FUCK, WAY COOLER THAN THE REST OF US, SO COOL IT’S A WONDER THEY DEIGNED TO COMMENT AT ALL, they are.

cheers

t

Aug 01, 2011
Korguth says:

I like witch house but I dont think there is enough gay tumblr bullshit associated with it? Do you think we could possibly make this happen?

Aug 01, 2011
PVR oKKVLT says:

muhahahaha… this has to be some of the most unintentionally funny music I’ve ever heard. thanks, DM! This is some “spooky” stuff! Hope I don’t get bad dreams tonight!! This is what happens when you have a bunch of lazy, no-talent affluent spoiled brats moonlighting as musicians. I’m sure that they will still be around in five years. Great stuff!

Aug 01, 2011
jjjxxx says:



Aug 02, 2011
bunternational says:

After claiming that “witch house” *shudder* can not be defined by a certain style of production, I find it quite remarkable that all of the videos that you have posted contain songs where the main characteristics are reverb-drenched synth lines crafted out of overused Microkorg presets and badly programmed 808/909 style beats (as if hearing those tired old sounds on every contemporary pop song wasn’t enough already…)

Also, you forgot T R I F O R C E.


Aug 03, 2011
triangle double dagger triangle says:

@JT Gonzo

“If no one can take anything seriously then there’s no reason to waste time on it.”

i bet you’re great at parties and have lots of friends who are also great at parties.

Aug 03, 2011
Brant Showers says:

What I find most telling about the arguments against witch house is that there is no understanding that most of these artists (the authentic and possibly more talented ones at least) were writing and performing music long before an over-branching label was attributed to them. I personally feel comments referring to an entire genre as “This is what happens when you have a bunch of lazy, no-talent affluent spoiled brats moonlighting as musicians” to be extremely ignorant. There is definitely a large selection of music being created to fit a specific sound, but I don’t see that as in anyway detrimental to the quality and genuinely amazing productions being created. If you don’t agree that’s fine, but don’t be lazy and ignorant with your deciding factors. Every genre has copycats and they can definitely hinder the validity of authentic bands, but don’t be fooled by the idea that this is a “fad genre” just because Pitchfork thinks they broke a new style. The musical and cultural influences inherent in these bands have been building up for decades. It’s time to forget the bullshit label umbrella and pay attention to the actual underlying manifestations expressed in the culminating response to these varying influences and current ideologies.

Aug 04, 2011
truth says:

ITT: faggots

Aug 04, 2011
Brant Showers says:

I think you meant I††.

Aug 04, 2011
truth says:



Aug 11, 2011
oomingmak says:

I remember sitting around with my friends in the 80s, dressed in black, listening to Bauhaus, and wondering what to call ourselves. We hadn’t come up with the term Goth yet, or at least, in our remote corner of the world, we hadn’t heard of it. And the music we listened to at the time was just as varied. We didn’t have all the microgenres that are around nowadays. I definitely don’t agree that this is the first anti-genre genre. And it certainly isn’t the first one trying to evade classification. Music scenes often start out as varied and full of innovation, but over time things just become cliched.

Aug 18, 2011
CRIM3S (facebook.com/CRIM3S) says:

witch house is the only genre that can bost an undefineable sound, a genre that contains influences from pretty much every other genre and art form out there. i mean which other scene sounds like hip hop, dubstep, grunge, punk, synth pop, pop, nu romantic, etc… ALL AT ONCE
not to mention the fucking amazing visual art that comes with it.

for a while i forsaw the death of witch house…
it got too goth for me…

but it will never die. just listen to the likes of nike7up to know that. theres some ‘REALESS’ in this music that you just cant get elsewhere. plus, if you make dubstep, you know what your gunna sound like, if you make pop, you know what your gunna sound like….. if you happen to be classed as a witch house band….. well your sound could be just about anything really couldnt it…

were all heading for the future… things change… but this scene brings some fucking great music and art to the world so who can diss that.

peace.x
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