Mystery to one: WTCHCRFT’s vocal-driven techno will put you under a spell

today09/03/2023 11

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Were you ever worried about the techno scene not accepting you because you were making more trap and wave music?

I wasn’t ever worried about that. I just thought: I’ll make what I want to make and I think it’s gonna be good. So I’m just gonna make it.

You’re very confident! What’s your sign?

I’m a Libra.

Do you even believe in astrology?

It’s not that I believe in it, but I think it’s a lot of fun. I just think it’s a fun way to express yourself and that’s what I like about it. So whenever people are like “Oh, it’s stupid” I’m just like, you don’t like fun? You don’t like to have fun? So do I believe in it? Maybe? Like if you asked me if I believed in ghosts, I’ll say the same thing.

So you don’t think you were haunted in your apartment?

No, I really don’t.

Do you like to do research on serial killers?

I love true crime. For better or or for worse. I find it very interesting. A lot of people think the pathology of the serial killers is what’s interesting, but that’s not as interesting to me as the stories and the background of the victims. I feel like the story deserves to be told. I don’t think it’s very interesting as to why a serial killer decided [to do what they did]. Who cares? I like to watch documentaries and play YouTube videos about true crime, like mystery make-up videos.

You really are like a suburban mom.

Yeah, my mom loves Investigation Discovery and I recognize that it’s a little trashy, but it’s also very entertaining. A lot of people say,“This is so stupid, we need to care about what’s going down right now,” but true crime has been around since the 30s. It used to be even trashy before they had magazines, with photos of e horrible things, totally uncensored. I think a lot of these magazines don’t exist anymore. But they were there.

So your name is WTCHCRFT and a lot of our conversation has been about serial killers and the supernatural. Have you always been drawn to spooky shit?

Yeah, always. I’ve always been drawn to spooky stuff. Really it started off as a fear and I don’t know when it flipped. But the WTCHCRFT, I literally came up with because in middle school, what was really big at the time was EDM trap. And a lot of those artists had names with no vowels. I was like, “What’s the word that would look cool with no vowels, but you would still understand what it is?” It took like two seconds. The first thing that popped in my head was witchcraft. I wrote it out and I was like, “Yeah, that’s it.” It just stuck. [My upcoming EP] is called ‘The Wych Elm‘ and It comes from an unsolved 1940s murder case, in Hagley Wood in the UK where these boys were out in the woods. They were looking for bird nests or something — whatever n****s used to do in the ’40s. I don’t know what they were doing. But they came across a wych elm tree and found a full human skeleton. It was huge news and they have no idea, to this day, who the girl is. But after they removed it and were doing the investigation, they found graffiti in the city saying “Who put Luebella down the wych elm – Hagley Wood.” So I named it after that and the first track is called “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?”

Especially with this EP, I feel like a lot of your work represents streams of consciousness mixed with shit that interests you. Yeah. is all of your music really personal?

Yes. It’s always been personal. I still go back to some of my older songs that are not dance music at all. Specifically, I have a song called ‘Stay’. It was when I was dating my ex and she went back to Sweden as I made this song. It is a beautiful song. I love it. I wish I got more recognition. But I love it and I listen to it still. And I don’t do that often.

How are you able to take criticism on your music when something is so close to you?

Pretty well, you know, everyone has their own tastes. It’s funny though, because I’m a people pleaser. Definitely a class A people pleaser. It’s been a problem my entire life. But music, for some reason, I just don’t feel that way. I don’t feel like I need to please anyone other than myself, really.

What do you want people to get out of this EP?

Have fun! I want to hear it out live.

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Is that why you usually produce music? For it to be played out live?

It’s for me to play. It’s more what I want to hear in the club, but I’m not hearing in the club. So I’m like, “Shit, I gotta make it then.” If no one else is doing it, I gotta do it. If I can’t find anyone else who assembled something in the way that I like, I’m gonna fucking do it. That’s how I’ve been approaching techno. At the end of the day, I’m really just experimenting.

Do you consider yourself an experimental producer?

No. I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know what experimental is, but I’m experimenting.

Tell us about your Impact mix.

I woke up at 10:AM to do this mix. It’s hard, fast, melodic, but most importantly it’s groovy; filled with a lot of the tracks that I’ve been playing out recently and two unreleased tracks!

The Wych Elm comes out on March 10 via Noise Manifesto.

Arielle Lana LeJarde is a freelance writer, follow her on Twitter


Don woezik ‘Antagonist’
LÄUFF ‘Black sky’
Mon.To ‘Disaster’
LihT ‘Uproar’
Unsettled ‘Patricia Gurband’ (Raël Remix)
Cassie Raptor ‘Anger Volcano’ (Perc Remix)

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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