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.