Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bring Your Drugs to the Dance Floor...Young Magic : "Breathing Statues

What ever happened to witch house ? It's a question I have been pondering the past year after the dark sub-genre of electronica noted for occult references fell of the map. So I clicked around the inner webs looking for answer. It was sometimes referred to as ghost house and had more in common with trip hop than house music. The biggest artists of the genre like Salem haven't had anything out since 2010. There looks to have been some motion in the ocean last year from some artists like Glasser and Mater Suspiria Vision released albums last year. It looks like the genre is being transitioned over into dream pop judging by this Duo.

From the opener "One" you can tell with it brings a change in production that is the biggest difference for the switch, along with more up tempo beats. There is a blend of psychedelic eastern sounds that sounds like they could have sampled a Beatles album. The dreamy female vocal are bathed in effect, yet not garbled in them like witch house. Not as dark or focused on the occult it still hits enough the sweet spots that have been left empty by the genre's disappearing act. "Fall" has more of a jazzy undercurrent, but the psyche elements are still slightly present. Not unlike Portishead in the manner the vocals are what really is driving the songs, even as ethereal as they are. I stands to reason that this dream pop genre owes a lot to the Cocteau Twins. "Fox Glove" floats out of the previous song. Draped in synth flutes the hook is the strongest, until you get to what must be the album's single "Something in the Water". The longing in her voice is almost of  Sarah Mclaughlin magnitude, but the scenery it's surrounded by is dark as the witch house this sort of thing came from. It's pretty much a perfect song.

Strange how after writing the perfect song they follow it up with something as unfocused as "Ageless" . The narcotic beat of "Cobra" brings back the eastern sounds and finds them in a much more Massive Attack like place. Male vocals take over on "Holographic" they are on the androgynous side , but don't work as well as Melati's. "Mythnomer" has a more lo-fi witch house like distortion to it. The pitch shifted vocals even make an appearance. The staggered beat is a little dis jointed and the vocals are rapped, but it all strangely works. "Waiting for the Ground to Open" is not quite a fully realized song, though there are some good ideas captured here and this albums is so well produced, they could put effects on sneezes and it would sound good.

It closes on a note that is more like old Zola Jesus. She doesn't have the same throaty alto Zola has, but a ghostly grace. This song is pretty much trip hop, call it by any other name if you want. this album sound grace at times the dream like nature makes the trip so loose the song gets lost. I'll give it an 8 if you miss witch house or even trip hop for that matter this is worth your time.

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