Poltergeists: Week of April 20, 2015

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

Ritual Springs - “Safety Cage”

Where did this band come from!? Portland is the answer. Damn. I have listened to this song so many times this week and it still hasn’t gotten old yet. I am coming to find that I have a very specific post-punk/new-goth taste and these guys scratch all of the right places for me. There is a great balance between minimal, 80s-styled synthesizers and bellowing vocals. I would also like to point out that this is a debut EP. I look forward to many great things from these new local friends.

Sofia Reta - “Le Soif”

Sofia Reta is something that Wes turned me on to about a year ago when I asked him for Witch House and Witch House-adjacent music that I could play when I DJ. There is so much emotion in these songs. I love how the few elements that come in and out of this song are so subtle, but very impactful, adding to the pitch-dropped vocals to create a robotic longing. Even when most of the elements drop out about three minutes in and there is only a simple drum beat, bassline, and vocal left, the song feels so full - which I think is really hard to do.  

Wes

Wovoka - “Chosen”

Let me just say upfront that if you consistently want to find good metal on Bandcamp, follow Majbritt Levinsen.  

Wovoka lays down some heaviness on “Chosen,” the first track from their album Saros. The song starts with the feedback hum of the guitars, slowly building to the drums and bass. These hums seem more intentional than you might expect; rather than being used simply as a pre-track texture, it seems they are intentionally used to build tension, adding to the sluggish, brooding pace the rest of the track maintains. The whole album, in fact, maintains this pace; it is always slow but never drags. I found Saros this past week and I haven’t been able to stop listening.

JVNITOR - “Albatross”

One third of trap/witch-house trio BRUXA recently departed for LA, leaving JVNITOR in her wake. JVNITOR maintains the dark, witchy tones that BRUXA was so good at creating, and in "Albatross", the atmospheric elements of that tone really shine through. In between heavy kicks and claps, delayed vocal clips and quiet howls of distortion meld with muted bass tones to create an almost calming feeling; I say almost because the darkness of the track is consistently unsettling enough to prevent the sort of chill that you’d get from someone like The xx.

Poltergeists: Week of November 17, 2014

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

Tribal A.D. - “Fields of Dystopia”

First of all, I know this is a really long song, but it is one (of many) that I have consistently gone back to. It is a great track to have on in the background and kind of lose yourself in while doing something else - or meditating. There are so many elements that come in and out throughout the nearly nine minutes that are really soothing to me. The atmosphere and overall mood of the song is also very calming. It has a hint of darkness - something that I find I often need for a track to really hit home.

Force Publique - “Sacrifice”

Wes and I had the great opportunity to see Force Publique with Metal Mother and Pastel Ghost this last Friday! We had not heard much from Force Publique before this (I had not heard anything) and I must say that I loved every second of their set. It was really fun to watch and the music is great. This is another track that I really like the atmosphere on; it draws me in from the beginning and builds to such a great point when the vocals kick in. I have to say that I am not a big guitar oriented person, but this fits so well that I cannot imagine it without guitar.

Wes

Bruxa - “WitchHunty (Blvck Ceiling Remix)”

Bruxa is a local act that is a part of what Michael and I have started calling The Parallel Scene - a scene of yung goths that seems to have built itself up in parallel to the scene we normally run in, rarely to be glimpsed by us. Bruxa specializes in a blend of witchouse and hip-hop that puts more emphasis on the hip-hop than you might normally see in the witchouse space. Pitch shift rap gives way to Bianca Radd’s haunting vocal style. This remix by Blvck Ceiling builds in some additional creepy production through heavy percussion and gated pads. If you haven’t heard Bruxa, this is a great place to start.

HWLS - “001”

Y’all know I can’t stay off that future tip. This song combines a few things that I love about this weird little bass music sub genre: there’s pitched up vocal samples that take the place of a lead synth, there’s those deep trappy sine kicks, and don’t forget about that little shuffling hat line. Something that captures me with this song is the interesting way that the bell arpeggio is being gated so that the end of each ring is cut off, creating a strange discomfort; there’s a feeling that you’re missing something on the end of the sound, and it works well to add mood to a song that is already filled with strange sampling.