Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ERYONEZ TALKINGZ ABOUT WITCH HOUSE

it seems that my conceptual half-joke genre WITCH HOUSE is here to stay. i had always wanted to invent a catchphrase or some sort of meme within popular (sub)culture, the idea of naming a genre stemmed from a failed conceptual art piece from 2007 where i attempted to start a certain "movement" called CREEP (read my "creep" manifesto on my myspace blog) , whereas "creep" was a "state of being", witch house was a comment about aesthetics.
with a genuine interest in the occult and magic, i incorporate a lot of my magical practice within the artworks that i make (this includes my music), and originally "witch house" was supposed to serve as a name for thee all to rarely explored style of magikal house music. a style first explored in depth by true witch house originators, PSYCHIC TV. (not dj screw)  (get learned)

music is and will always be magikal, as it invokes change and transformation within our physical internal and external reality. and that should be at the core of what "witch house" is if anything. putting on some dark clothes and putting a bunch of upside down crosses next to your band name means nothing if all it serves to you is to "look cool". the "witch" in "witch house" is not an empty word. I AM A FUCKING WITCH, BITCH.

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 terrence mckenna, an "archaic revival" is underfoot within our contemoprary 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 a alchemical brew of multiple styles, sounds, movements, and genres. it represents our current pop cultural landscape far better than someone like katy perry.
 could witch house be a manifestation of people starting to understand what had been occulted for thousands of years? are we modern day pagans? maybe i putting to much on this, but it is interesting stuff to think about.

here are some recent thoughts on "witch house"
(and i would love to know your thoughts on what is going on too, any emergent phenomena is fascinating to me, and "witch house" is no exception.)

NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE

TODD PENDU "THE GENESIS OF NAMING A GENRE"

intreview with mario zoots of MODERN WITCH fame


Witchin' w/ Mario Zoots from badatsports on Vimeo.

14 comments:

  1. don't forget http://pitchfork.com/features/articles/7806-ghosts-in-the-machine/

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  2. My response to the Pendu thing and why I'm kinda sorry I snatched up ya phrase and why I kinda think it's not a big deal that I did :3

    http://guccigoth.tumblr.com/post/1524090549/pendu-just-did-a-pretty-neat-article-on-witch

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  3. http://hauntedghost.tumblr.com/post/1346214210/welcome-to-the-witch-house-an-unofficial-guide

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  4. Travis this is great, very well written. PSYCHIC TV!

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  5. While I do appreciate some artists in the genre, I find it mostly a nod to something that was better when it previously existed. On a whole I feel like witch house is monotonous and uninspiring. Muscianship replaced with mundane repetition and unintelligible self centered lyricsm. It lacks any movement and is spearheaded by people who could "give a shit". Not to say it's all bad, but if this anti-conscious future is it, well then that's a "drag". I love your insight though Travis, your optimism is real.

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  7. The mysticism is cheap, the influences unacknowledged, the music is only fitfully interesting. And it's uniformly awful live, to boot. It's nothing that hasn't been done before, better. Coil / Threshold Houseboys Choir / Current 93 / Nurse With Wound were /real/ about it. Still are, too, 'cept for Coil. RIP Jhonn Balance.

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  8. hey john. i agree with you about the influences thing. a lot of these new witch house bandwagon jumping producers know nothing about the originators of dark electronic musics. new jacks making music without spirit

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  9. also, i dont even know or care about a ton of witch house groups, i was wanting to talk more about my reasoning and interest in the term itself and what i feel it represents as a cultural movement.

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  10. I feel you T, I think that there is something about Witch House that goes well beyond it's role as a manufactured subculture. The occult is not a "spirituality" it is a weapon to fight against the mysticism of capitalism, which is the mysticism that dominates our life. The "monotony" of this genre is just one aspect in a variety of attempts (often successful in my opinion) to decommodify the listening experience through a violent "silence" which far from being a lack of noise is actually more like a seething threat. The rituals of listening that are constructed by witch house musicians are not "nods to the past" nor should they be derided for not being cognizant of their place in music history (isn't history another way that the dominant culture maintains its power?) but instead, these rituals are a thoroughly contemporary approach to the everyday rituals that we engage in within our daily lives and in the theatrical, absurdist approach to satanism, make these capitalist rituals all the more apparent. As you well know, witches weren't only semiotic heretics, they were a feminist terrorist vanguard that fought the encroaching state patriarchy that was both expropriating peasants from their land but also physically destroying the networks of resistance to Catholic authority. They constructed this resistance through rituals of self annihilation, queer sex and direct action as well as catchy drone songs and vampy makeup. Hopefully this is the where Witch House is going as well.

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  12. DESTROY CAPITALISM WITH WITCH HOUSE BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

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  13. As a "JSYK," you're quoted somethin' crazy up in hurr:

    http://www.clintcatalyst.com/blog/more-witchery-in-thee-house

    With
    Best Regards,
    Cx

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