Guest Editorial: Enter The 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… (Click through for the full story)
"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."
don’t forget, “rapegaze.”
"Narratives that disclose news or express opinion used to be called “articles” or “columns” but are now universally referred to as “content.” It is as though all our words have become gauzy filler material, the pale fluff inside decorative throw pillows. Newspapers used to give readers what we thought they needed. Now, in desperation, we give readers what we think they want. And what we seem to think they want is happy, glitzy, ditzy stuff, which is why in recent years newspapers across the country have been replacing sections named, say, “Viewpoint” with online Web destinations named, say, “Wheee!” featuring multiplatform, user-interactive content-sharing with clickable portals to “Lolcats.”"
Mobb Deep (feat. Nas) - Dog Shit [REVIEW]
I reviewed Mobb Deep’s reunion record with Nas, and sorta threw Nasir under the train in the process. Sorry. It’s that No Jumper shit.. take that take that take that
Power of Photojournalism part 2
‘cause I wanted to be a (war) photojournalist when I was a kid…
MORE GREAT WRITING ABOUT MUSIC
(via noz @ cbraps)
The defining factor of the Clipse/Re-Up hot streak – two near perfect albums and two classic mixtapes – was how insular their vision was. From out the gate they nailed this mournful future apocalyptic drug dealer aesthetic and stuck to it. On the rare occasions they had guests from outside the camp – Jermaine Dupri, The Lox, Slim Thugga – they pulled them into the world of the Clipse, not the other way around. When they rapped over other people’s beats they were relatively obscure ones, clearly hand picked to cater to their style (See: Nas‘ “You Know My Style,” Show & AG‘s “Next Level,” and even the big/only WGIFC 3 standout – Jim Jones’ “Emotionless“) Doing this – creating your own tiny universe – should be the highest aspiration for any artist. This is why Pusha’s recent turn as Kanye’s Louie bag boy has been so frustrating. It pulls him down to the level of just a rapper, not a member the esteemed Clipse. Suddenly he’s doing trap/yacht rap with Rick Ross or rhyming over “Speakers Going Hammer” Some might call this branching out but I call it caving in. Who knows though, maybe that’s what needs to happen in order for him to sell records. I doubt it.
There might even be a simpler explanation for his relative malaise – maybe he just needs The Neptunes. The Clipse (or half the Clipse) without the Neptunes is always going to feel like a Guru solo album (RIP GURU THO BUT YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE). On first listen this single Tunes banger is the only thing on Fear Of God has me feeling anything more than a nebulous “it’s aight” kanyeshrug response. And in todays over-saturated market “aight” is a more damning analysis than, say, “fuck this shit!” and certainly a low point for a guy who was once one of rap’s most moving artists. Anyway Fif sounds good as hell here too and it’s very exciting to hear him pulled into the aforementioned Clipseverse. One of the many perks of his fall from commercial grace is that it puts him on a level where he can do small records like this, non-hits with talented rappers for the fuck of it. And Pharrell does something close to an Ab Liva impression on the hook which is just weird.
speaking on Pusha T - Raid (Feat. 50 Cent & Pharrell)
QUOTING A WHOLE PARAGRAPH BECAUSE GOOD FUCKING WRITING DESERVES TO BE SEEN/READ
(via noz @ cbraps)
Once major concern about the sudden ascension of Odd Future is that it might prove to stifle their creativity. The theory is that an early buzz period has the tendency to leave young artists in a state of arrested development. They might feel like they’ve already “made it” when their sound and swag is still in its early developmental stages. But to worry of such things is to ignore the rapid improvement that Hodgy has been showing in recent months – as a studio rapper, as a performer, as a personality. The difference between his appearance at the first New York show and Hodgy a few weeks ago in Philly is immense. From wallflower to riot starter in a matter of months. (Though admittedly there’s still plenty of room for improvement in terms of actual on stage rapping from the entire crew, as anybody watching the recent SXSW clips with a critical eye has noticed. Hopefully that will come with time.) On here, as well as this random track they’ve been performing, he’s really toying with fast flows in was he hasn’t in the past. When I talked to Hodgy for the Billboard piece one of the few things he mentioned (when he wasn’t in a deep internet gaze or getting intimate with the fan made Odd Future bong that was bestowed upon him earlier in the night) was that he’s a big Yelawolf fan. This can only be seen as a positive influence. Casey offers a nice laid back counterpoint to Hodgy’s chops and I’m loving the Hawaiian shirt vibes of Left Brain’s beat (actually those flutes are feeling a little Freestyle Fellowshipish in their own right. Like many Odd Future songs this one has absolutely nothing to do with rape, homophobia or satanism.
speaking on Mellowhype - Less (feat. Casey Veggies)