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#Witch House

Monday, October 29, 2012

by Julia Webster


“On this day in 1390 was the first trial for witchcraft in Paris leading to the death of three people.”


This week on #SEARCHPARTY, we covered another genre of music that accidentally fostered a new scene, just like #SEAPUNK did. Witch house also started as a joke. The term was invented by Travis Egedy, also known as Pictureplane, in 2009 to describe his style of occult-based house music. Egedy described witch house in some interview:

“It’s a joke.

Myself and my friend Shams—he makes house music, too— we were joking about the sort of house music we make, [and we were calling it] witch house because it’s, like, occult-based house music. It was 2009. And then I did this best-of-the-year thing with Pitchfork about witch house, and it was me and Shams and Modern Witch. I was saying that we were witch house bands, and 2010 was going to be the year of witch house, that it was going to get really witchy and stuff. It took off from there. Different people started posting about it on blogs, and it sort of became an internet meme. And someone attached the name witch house to the sounds that bands like Salem were making—the slowed down, spooky, Goth juke kind of stuff." "...But, at the time, when I said witch house, it didn’t even really exist..."



After that interview with Pitchfork Media he was talking about, Pictureplane's new label started getting used as a real legit term for the new genre. As far as the music goes, there have been disputes on what exactly defines the genre. Witch house was originally used to describe occult-based house music, but now some people use it to describe fusions of chopped and screwed hip hop with elements of noise, drone, and shoegaze. Travis Egedy listed 3 songs on some blog that he referred to as “fabulously dark” including the tracks Gothstar, In Your Eyes, and Pillow Talk listed below.

When looking up some of these artists, it pretty much looks like some kids got over excited when they discovered the special characters pallet. It’s a common thing of the witch house genre to have band names and song titles that include crosses, triangles and slashes and other weird characters, which I guess is part of the aesthetic of the scene as well as their attempt to keep their scene underground and harder to search on the internet. Copy Paste will do the trick though.

••• † $ † â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³â�¼•â�³ † $ † •••

The name "witch house" although popular, does half the job of the name of a genre. "Witch" reflects the distorted magical ambient moods and spellbinding imagery, but "house" doesn't really fit. House music has always maintained an upbeat love affair with the dance floor that witch house just doesn't do. Maybe the word "dub" should be incorporated into the name, like that first song I played by Daedelus. Most of the witch house beatmakers are messing around with prerecorded sounds, which is a technique originally used in dub music. What's even more appropriate is that the word "dub" comes from the Jamaican Creole word for "ghost". Only problem is dub is already associated with reggae. Anyone wanna gimmie something better? Let those brain juices conjure up a more suiting name for this genre and send it in!


Set for October 29, 2012

Bobby "Boris" Pickett // Monster Mash

Pictureplane // Gothstar

Modern Witch // In Your Eyes

SHAMS // Pillow Talk

Salem // King Night

Daedelus // Sundown (Haunted Dub)

LAKE R�DIO // 13093

Purity Ring // Cartographist

Michael Jackson // Thriller

�AIMON // Mirrors Fade

oOoOO // Egyptynlvr

VEINS // Spoffish

â��DEâ�³D VIRGIN â��// $$$lu†

â�²NDRΛS // X is Y

Police Academy 6 // Lurk (feat. Meth Dad)

XXYYXX // Witching Hour

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