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Exorcising the Ghost: oOoOO breaks down the buzz about “drag”

Drag, Witch house No Comments »

By David Wicik

You probably have never heard of San Francisco’s Christopher Dexter Greenspan before, and unless you are either a music blogger or a member of the indie-music twitterati, you likely have not heard of his project, oOoOO (pronounced “Oh”). Nevertheless, in the world of emerging music, Greenspan, and the trend that oOoOO stands for, seems to be a fair bit of noise.

Ever since Pitchfork reified the decentralized phenomenon of “drag” or “witch house” it has been virtually an imperative for music writers to have a take on the phenomenon. The predominant narrative seems to be that witch house is a strange and unnecessarily obscure hybrid that invests too much energy in inaccessible, glyphic naming schemes (e.g. †‡†, ///???\\\ or Ritualzzz and Horse MacGyver respectively), is only popular because it is different and that most people who champion it are only hyping a fad.

The music can most adequately be described as a marriage of the gothic coldness of certain new-wave synth tones and the dissociative reprocessing of Houston hip-hop-originated chopped and screwed music, with something of the wonked-fi texture of old Troma soundtracks thrown in for good measure. Greenspan, who was recently named one of the top five new artists for January by Spin magazine, and who is the author of the lengthy quote which leads off the previously alluded to Pitchfork article (“Ghosts in the Machine”), has more or less unwittingly been cast as a figurehead for drag. Read the rest of this entry »