At times it feels like Salem exist solely to create disdain. Witch house is a stupid name for a genre, especially one that doesn’t sound like house, rapegaze is even stupider, and its happier older cousin chillwave was pretty much ruined integrity-wise by being named by HRO in the first place. But this is obviously emotionally affecting stuff, textured and – though this has been used as a criticism – eerily dispassionate. You can look at it as deracinated hip hop, and the weird dude rapping occasionally can make that happen, or you can take it alongside the anhedonia of someone like Grouper, pumped with a little more drama and underpinned with basic drum machine beats. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it roars, but it always does it with a set of dead eyes that do strange things to your stomach. Like a witch, in your house. Or something like that.
The actual Witch House in Salem that I walked past once, and Chris Weingarten’s angry anti-Salem hip hop mixtape.
24. Pantha du Prince – Black Noise [D]
This is techno music that seems to move with your mood, to say different things. Or maybe it just alters your mood. But still, it feels mapped to the day, sitting, lying down or walking, it shades in the space behind fleeting thoughts. Techno is something I never got past the hall with, but in this theory, that’s because not all techno’s for everybody. Find the beats that are fit to you, and play them to death. The careful chimes of Abglanz and the busy stasis of Es Schneit are nothing less than hypnotic. And Panda Bear’s appearance on Stick To My Sides? Pretty good too.
Interview with The Quietus and a Pitchfork Guest List
23. Tinchy Stryer – Third Strike [UK]
Oh no wait, no, I wasn’t joking. Even though Tinchy Stryder is consummate bus-back phone-speaker fodder, there’s an argument to be made for huge-sounding, commercial rap music when it’s good, even if it’s British. And here it is. There’s cautious, considered-sounding music, introspective stuff. And then there’s the other thing. If you’re going to do it, you may as well do it on a grand scale. Third Strike is full of cheesy session vocalist hooks, but it’s also full of a guy with a flow that’s as polished as salad days Jay-Z, over beats that, at their best, snap enough to break necks (Gangsta?), pop with immediacy like the best club tracks (Never Know) or drive worms out of the ground in terror for miles around with their disgusting, distorted sub bass (Game Over). Not grime, but grimy.
The video to Game Over with a billion guests, and his Twitter.
22. Domo Genesis – Rolling Papers [US]
Domo Genesis is Odd Future’s weed guy. It’s pretty much as straightforward as that. Tyler and Earl might rap about fucking Goldilocks and masturbating to Asher Roth (for some reason), but this is Domo and his album is called Rolling Papers, because he likes smoking weed. But, contrary to the discourse, OF’s not just about saying weird shit. It’s, and forgive this, a certain swagger. The beats shuffle along reluctantly, dragged out and slow with signature change ups, and Domo just rides that, expressing himself. That’s all he needs to do. On Kickin It, he’s so laid back, the beat’s backwards. On Drunk, he steps out a little and shows something. And when Tyler shows up – first as Wolf Haley on the title track and then as Ace Creator on the ridiculous and brilliant stoner-vs-non-stoner-in-a-shop-queue track Super Market – even better. If it’s not obvious by now, you gotta smoke a bean on this one.
Download literally everything available here and then read Domo talk about cereal.
21. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
The reverb thing is a good way to make overtly poppy punk music seem less cloying, to let obvious melodies have to come up and find you. There are no songs over 2.41 on this, and that’s how it should be. Noise fights with what could sometimes (say Nothing Used To Hurt) could be a Blink 182 album track, but it’s the sense of abandon that makes it so attractive, the slight bump in tempo when any song resolves back to the main riff and the drums go back to smashing cymbals. And then there are the bits that are more obviously indebted to the proto-indie rock canon, back when it was still mail order, zines and taping shit off people who have it. I wasn’t there, but Male Bonding is what I want it to have sounded like in my head.
Interview from The Line of Best Fit and them on p4ktv