Thursday, 15 December 2011

Aparition and the Art of the Dragmix

Blessed be the drag mix! Uber-awesome AS affiliate and artist, Aparition has recently made available his series (FOUR GLORIOUS VOLUMES, PEOPLE) of “Blessed in Drag” mixtapes on bandcamp. These glorious freebies include a bizarre mixture of long-forgotten, classic, and underground traxx which combine to provide truly unique experiences. Each one is beautifully crafted, mixed and utterly fucked.

The thing that sets them apart from your average drag mixes is the sheer breadth of styles and genres that have gone into the tapes. We're talking not only of classic hip-hop choons, and the obligatory messed up pop songs, but also tracks like film theme tunes (the opening of vol. 1) and dark synth music (the end of vol.4).

Aparition makes mixtapes that feel as though he simply wants to share the excitement of his favourite tracks given a little twist – this is a labour of love and the passion is infectious. Get em at for FREE fiddy.

- Bunny


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Myrrh Ka Ba – There is Only One of Us Here (2011)

After giving one track from this a spin on soundcloud, I immediately went forth and purchased the EP from Tundra Dubs (Myrrh Ka Ba's debut on the label). I'll point out that this wasn't exactly heroics of the highest order because this lovely little collection is what we call “reasonably priced”. Less than $2 for 5 tracks of this quality?! FUCK YES.

I've been following Myrrh Ka Ba's career for the past year with some interest. From his solo stuff to his work with Zombelle (both before and during the Disaro tour earlier this year) he has retained a certain production style regardless of which genre he has been playing with. Maybe that's a little unfair... It's more that he creates a delicious fusion of many elements, including psych-rave synths, tight and crisp 808 beats, a fearless approach to vocal manipulation and a mixing skill that almost gives the whole thing a feel very particular to this producer.

SO! Onto the EP itself. First thing's first: “Pocket Monsters” is a fucking CHOON. The use of vocal samples, twisted and dragged and layered, gives an overall stunning effect. Add a glo-fi synth line and chill with one laid back drum beat, makes one tasty sonic drink.

Eye M Dem is goth'dup dancey masterpiece, dripping with bassy gloriousness, and bears some resemblance to “Tropocalypse” on the Tropicult EP that he and Zombelle collaborated on recently. Same sort of chord sequence and bass sound, but a more mature sound, and – dare I say it? – DANCIER.

Go!” brings to mind some kind of twisted mashup of UK garage and trance music (BY NO MEANS A BAD THING). I think the ideas work really well together, but don't quite gel as much as I would've liked. On the other hand, EP opener “432hz” (the number which apparently expresses the true “key note” of music, and proposing a true one-ness in sound with universe, just slightly below the frequency that represents the A above middle C) modernises trip-hop in such a way to make it feel fresh and relevant again, whilst not seeming out of place with it's brethren on the EP. For a track with a transcendental name, it really does what it says on the tin, too.

To sum: fucking buy it. It's a glorious little head-fuck thing for a fraction of the price of something half as catchy.

- Bunny

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Twin remix albums from Tundra Dubs

As a stroke of good fortune (and good nature), Tundra Dubs have released two fantastickal free remix albums within a short space of time of one another, for free, within spitting distance of their 1 year birthday (and subsequent party). The albums in question are remix albums of two “Tundra Classics” (as they may well be called, so seminal are they in the witch house scene these days): FUNERALS' debut EP “MARAE” and ▲AIMON's “Amen”.

On the FUNERALS remix album, each track has been transformed by the likes of Goteki, VS//YOUTHCLUB, kkoee, Ritualz and ▲AIMON into a glimmering dance classic. By each, I really mean just that – there is not one single track on this album that falls short of amazing. You can fill and bomb dark electro dancefloors across the world by simply pressing play.

The album pushes the individual songs to their limits in exactly the way remixes should do, and each remix shows a different element maximized. In my humble opinion, it even bests the original EP by FUNERALS, released earlier this year.

Standout tracks: “OUT THERE” (▲AIMON remix), MARAE (Goteki Remix)

The ▲AIMON on the other hand, features what can only be regarded as the who's who of Witch House taking the reins, going to work on the original dark masterpiece of an EP. I'm going to start by saying I'm biased as all hell on this one. For a start, I adore the source material – it's a regular on my daily listening regime. Furthermore, remix duties were then handed over to roughly half of my favourite artists in the scene. SKELETONKIDS, I††, ▲NDRAS, BL▲CK CEILING, Ceremonial Dagger, Vortex Rikers, UNISON, powwowW, SCYTHE, MARA5, RΛIN... It's a long and spectacular list. So yeah, biased, to say the least.

Much like the originals, the album is altogether twilight music – the sublime edge of darkness. The main difference is that, much like the FUNERALS remix album, each track is expanded on. In this case most of the tracks are deconstructed, added to, reformed, mutated and occasionally transformed completely. From I††'s characteristic abstracted and textural molding of “PURE,” to SKELETONKIDS shimmery and achingly beautiful re-imagining of “AMEN,” a full spectrum is explored. All manners of darkness considered for entry...

In one sense – and where it differs in totality to it's dancier counterpart released only weeks before – this album is like brief glances into each padded cell of 70's-style asylum for the mentally deranged. Each one is twisted as fuck, totally self-involved and inward looking, unique, and interesting. Some sit to one side and babble about how the sun makes them see pretty spots while urinating themselves, whereas others, regardless of the amount of medication, will happily slice your face off within a moments' contact and happily feed it to you, with or without the use of your own teeth.

What? I said nothing, nothing at all. It really is a fantastic remix album, is all.

Standout tracks (please don't make me choose): “EXU REI” (Preteen Pornstar rmx), “EXU REI” (Haunted by UNISON), “PURE” (I†† remix), “AMEN” (SKELETONKIDS remix), ○+☆≋□ (powwowW remix)

- Bunny

Tash Willmore - These Eyes - A REVIEW -

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is famous for its excellent music-scene from which Mr. Willmore is an emerging star.
Surströmming is another famous product of the Scandanavian country; a fermented herring dish which omits an overwhelming putrid stink. The music created by this talented Swede, on the other hand, does NOT release noxious fumes but does in fact give off a glowing neon-gust which jumps into your ear canals, onto the boat of booming bass and floats to your core. It really does hit the spot.
Even though it is clearly apparent that he does not feel it is necessary to be categorised into or restricted by genres, Willmore moves in Witch House circles and the influence is evident in These Eyes. An underrated gem-of-a-track for which he has (perhaps subconsciously) taken all of the best elements of the aforementioned genre and amalgamated them with his own fresh touches to form a wonderous creation; providing a catalyst for a new generation of ravers.
Gone are the days of making witchy music in the cocooned-confines of bedrooms and keeping it there to stagnate. It's time to take it to the dance floor!
All the elements needed to make for an ideal freakout in a sweaty club are present; driving beats, soaring synths, a high danceability factor and euphoric build-ups. 

Listen. Embrace. Liberate. Invoke the neon spirit within.

This track can be found on the following E.P (available as a FREE DOWNLOAD) ....

- Fire Coral

Thursday, 13 October 2011

OPTIMUS PROM (self-titled album released on Tundra Dubs, 2011)


For me Optimus Prom sounds like what would happen if you broke into your local arcade after hours and turned that sucker into a full-on bumpin' house party. 808's bang hard while Mrs. Pac-Man sparks and glitches in the distance drenched in PBR. With refined, dancish beats and ghoulish vocal samples this release is bordering constantly between pop-experimentation and respectable party music, and never comes off as pretentious by fault of favoritism. Personal fav on here 'Axe Party' sounds like the cool kids got a hold of the Devry Technical Institute music and made it into a postmodern anthem, complete with ghoulish bass that crawls up your spine and synths that say boOoOO and blow blunt hits in your face. So many great moods here all done up to perfection, this is one to check out for sure. Totally blissed-out with a little something for everyone these vibes are almost like a microcosm of the future of independent music. Released via Tundra Dubs you can pick it up here in your choice of limited CD-R or digital download at a very fair price. Tundra is nothing but quality, cutting-edge tunes - check out their other releases. SO LEGIT

- spf5Ø

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

WH LNDN 30/09/2011

So... I attended my first ever IRL Witch House gathering this past weekend. Where else other than London? The second ever Witch House London night began quietly, as all the best ones do... and kicked off by Aural Sects' first ever physical release - a compilation CD of tracks that can mostly be found online (although a new version of one of my own tracks). The DJ's proved their mettle by getting the dancefloor moving practically from the start, and before too long the first act stepped up to the plate...

Transcoda are a London based musical collective, based around using hardware in creative ways. Interesting bits of kit used in their set: a drill hooked up as a midi controller for pink noise, a baby doll that the drill went into at the height of the performance, and a variable-speed strobe light used as a midi controller for the kick drums and occasionally the full drum loop. Needless to say it was a spectacle – combined with a custom vid of said baby doll floating mid-air and one member of the duo alternately whispering and shouting through a vocoder they certainly made an impression. The sound arena was more towards avant-electronica/industrial than witch house though.

Which of course cannot be said for WIK▲N. With only a minimal setup of laptop, midi keys and a mixer, he managed to create beautiful walls of melodic noise. There was a mixture of old familiar tunes that were majorly altered and new tracks, which are due out in the next month or so. The highlight of the set was undoubtedly new single “Gucci Bitches” (see video below), which goes deeper into the hip-hop culture side of witch house than WIK▲N has explored before. The crowd were amazing, throwing triangles up in the air and cheering whenever there was a pause - it turns out witch haus is much appreciated after all. The only (minor) drawback to the gig was the fact that the venue didn't have subwoofers so much of the powerful bass of the tracks was left out.

Sebastian's set of bangers (his word of choice) was fantastic, and the night closed with Isaac of CRIM3S spinning a set of dank dubstep, which went down well in spite of the genre change. Fucking stormer of a gig and night, and certainly a good intro to what offline Witch House is like... ROLL ON THE NEXT ONE BIATCHES!


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

REVIEW: Cyndies - Junkyard II

Cyndies - Junkyard II
Rating: 8/10

OK, so you know I said I would soon be doing some reviews of people who weren't affiliated with AS on the blog? Well I didn't lie. After getting in contact with a couple of labels I've been able to begin fulfilling my promise.

So, here we have the debut CD-R from Cyndies, who have been making some waves in the witch scene for a while. Their pairing with Phantasma Disques seems natural, in retrospect, given that the majority of "Junkyard II" is built upon similar textural leanings as some of the labels' other releases.

The name Junkyard II appears to be a play on the fact that the whole album feels like the 2011 version of the Birthday Parties' "Junkyard" LP, made from brash guitar, thrashes and flourishes of bass, snippets of different genres thrown hither and thither, led by a charismatic individual, and exploring the edge of the heavier end of the line betwixt structured music and chaotic noise.

The differences appear almost immediately though. For a start, the heavy use of samples, vocal stylings more akin to that of Nivek Ogre than Nick Cave, and post-rave synth lines pitted against what at first seems like a basic synthesized beat n bass combo which also generally cuts out or speeds up to inhuman speeds.

That isn't to say that each track doesn't have it's own identity: each one in an experience of its own. From the free-flowing structure of “Beverly Sick” to the bizarrely lucid tonal chaos of “Kotbusser Tor”, to the slow build and subtly disjointed rhythms of “Angelus Domini”, there are many avenues explored here.

What Cyndies originally promised with their debut track/vid “I Scream” - released a few months ago that made Cyndies a hot topic in the witch house scene to begin with – has been delivered with this album. Although “I Scream” is by far the most accessible track on the CD-R, the standout track for me has to be “Angelus Domini” with its use of church music, post rave keys, glitchy beats and layers of samples. Worthy of note is the progressively structured “Beverly Sick”, with vocals switching from gravelled chants one would expect to hear in nightmares to a lost-in-distortion wail. All of the elements intermingle towards the end when a missing synth element enters and draws the entire thing together.

The whole album is a remarkable experience from start to finish though. Densely layered with conflicting parts, always led by one morphing but anchoring element that rescues the entire album from falling into the chaos. As a debut album, you couldn't hope for better.

The album is out now on Phantasma Disques for a very reasonable 12 Euros...