malleus&incus

θζξχϖσδλ(It Only Gets Worse From Here)

Posted in Uncategorized, Witch House/Drag/etc by jawillisetc on September 2, 2010

Many Witch House/Drag/whatever bands employ unpronounceable, vaguely occult nonsense symbols in their names. This frustrates me, because when attempting to research bands, I can’t figure out how to google them. I suppose the symbols serve a twofold purpose, both suggesting mystery through their unpronounceablility and creating mystery by forcing the bands into obscurity. Because these symbols don’t work in URLs, I’ll include links to the myspaces and soundclouds of the bands I mention in this post, hopefully save everybody some time.
Some of the more interesting names I’ve come across so far include GR†LL GR†LL, ▲, ℑ⊇≥◊≤⊆ℜ, †‡†, and ///▲▲▲\\\. Now, the first thing I thought when I saw most of those names was that this was all bullshit and these guys are just making up stupid names and will slap some nonsense demos on a soundcloud to be part of a scene. But, as much as I wanted to be self righteously dismissive and smug, I can’t be. These people actually know what they are doing.

///▲▲▲\\\

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So Trendy (Salem and Balam Acab)

Posted in Witch House/Drag/etc by jawillisetc on August 30, 2010

As the guy on the blog that isn’t that into guitars, I’m investigating this summer’s pseudo-genre of questionable legitimacy: Witch House. To make a long an boring story shorter but tragically no more interesting, Witch house is essentially the confluence of Industrial and Chopped-N-Screwed. Industrial, birthed screaming in the late 70s by Throbbing Gristle and refined in the 80s by bands like Einsturzende Neubauten(there’s an umlaut in there somewhere), Skinny Puppy, and a bunch of other bands that I embarrassingly loved in middle school, contributes the harshness and dissonance that characteristic of the genre. Chopped-N-Screwed, created by DJ Screw with his slowed down and “screwed” remixes of popular hip hop, provides the genre’s most recognizable technique, slowed vocals. Although there is no set formula for a witch house track, they tend to pull a little from industrial and a little from Hip Hop, typically featuring a slowed and pitch-shifted vocal that combined with some industrial noise envelopes the listener in a haunting atmosphere.

There are a lot of acts that could be called witch house, so I’m going to do quick profiles on the ones that stood out to me. This certainly isn’t a comprehensive survey, and new groups are springing up all the time, so I’ll try to post on some of the better ones if I can.

The biggest names in witch house right now are Salem and Balam Acab.

Salem

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