Sunday, 6 February 2011

Who put Esben in the witch elm?

Apologies for my brief absence. I've been battling a cold (woe is me!) and I have been heavily under the influence of NyQuil for the past week. Screw marijuana and screw acid; if you want to get absolutely messed up, shoot NyQuil.

Anyway, because this blog is not called ilichronix...

Esben and the Witch is a British band (none of whose members are named Esben) who specializes in... well, take a listen:

Esben and The Witch - About This Peninsula [click to download]

"About This Peninsula" is not actually about a peninsula as far as I can tell. What it IS about is a mythical, subdued vibe reminiscent of Florence + The Machine, but with a more electronic tinge. Esben and company is rather genreless; this track is what can only be described as fairy-electroclash-Renaissance Faire minstrel. So while you're probably picturing Felix Da Housecat riding a horse with a 909 instead of a shield and lance (...aren't you?) the end result is a Tim Burton-esque fantasy ride, as much freak folk as future dance. All I'm saying is, Medieval IDM is much more palatable than dubstep.

Or this.

Esben and The Witch - Warpath [click to download]

"Warpath" is inexplicably even more heavy. With psychadelic guitars layered over a slowed Chicago house kickdrum, heaviness is fairly imminent. This track to me is like an organic, acoustic Crystal Castles track: completely incomprehensible, but producing an immense atmosphere. Low and slow yet thick as bricks. I think I'm gonna listen to this track on my next NyQuil bender--I mean, on my next long train ride... Gotta love those trains...

Also about drugs trains.

Esben and The Witch - Lucia, at the Precipice [click to download]

"Lucia, at the Precipice" is more trancey than heavy; repetitive piano stabs are punctuated by hypnotizing kicks and cymbals, sort of like a jazz band on quaaludes. (How many more drug references will I make? Stay tuned!) The real action starts about halfway through the track, when we get a housey buildup completely from nowhere. With some sidechaining and an adjusted arrangement, this could become another Stereo Love. I'm completely content with its relegation to indie status though; we don't need -another- trashy European house act. (Trashy European indie acts, on the other hand, are all the rage.)
The jury is out as to whether the precipice and the peninsula are coterminous.

Esben and the Witch are relatively new, their debut album (Violet Cries) having been released only last week. I think they're a band to look out for. I mean, come on, they are SO much better than those hacks over at Medieval Times.



Wulf said...

Your lacks of comments saddens me, ilictronix readers. It's fine. -sobs quietly-

Spungfungler said...

Here's one for you.

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