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Selected albums / short reviews[edit]

  • The Caretaker - Persistent Repetition of Phrases (2008)
  • Broadcast and The Focus Group - Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age (Warp, 2009): a chemical wedding of pop-sike bliss, cut-up weird audio and occult sonics; dark monarchs of hauntology's expanding kingdom; untethering slippage and slurring of loops and rhythms, a new approach to sampling that perhaps better represents the way music really sits in our memory (Wire)
  • Belbury Poly - From An Ancient Star (Ghost Box): incorporated shades of disco and dub
  • Seeland - Tomorrow Today (Advance, 2009) (Tim Felton ex-Broadcast, Billy Bainbridge ex-Plone): marries antique futurist textures to attractive pop songcraft (Wire)
  • Leyland Kirby - Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was (2009)
  • Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children (1998)
  • Boards of Canada - Geogaddi (2002)
  • Position Normal - Goodly Time (Rum, 2000) (London, Chris Bailiff and John Cushway, MM?, *93): proto-hauntology

Music videos[edit]

  • Broadcast and The Focus Group Witch Cults by Julian House, Sep 2009. [1]
  • Broadcast and The Focus Group I See, So I See So by Julian House, Dec 2009. [2]


James Kirby (aka The Caretaker, The Stranger, Leyland Kirby), Broadcast and The Focus Group (Warp's Cargill and Keenan + Ghost Box's House), The Focus Group (House @Ghost Box), William Basinski, Belbury Poly (@Ghost Box), Ariel Pink, Moon Wiring Club, The Advisory Circle, Seeland (Felton ex-Broadcast, Bainbridge ex-Plone)


Position Normal (Bailiff and Cushway, *1993), Boards of Canada


  • Ghost Box, *2004, London. Julian House & Jim Jupp
  • Mordant Music, London


  • Adam Harper: When the word 'hauntology' was first applied to music in January 2006, it was used to describe the Ghost Box and Mordant Music record labels (technically it was Simon Reynolds who proposed it as a name for a musical style, but credit should go to k-punk for using the term in connection with Ghost Box’s music long before this in September 05). [[3]]
  • Adam Harper: playback hauntologists create new pieces of music from ancient tape and vinyl recordings that are treated or weathered down in various ways until they become an ironic, emotionally-laden dark ambient noise. Generally their work is not what you’d call collage – the recordings they use are chopped into long extracts, looped or even left to play in their entirety, but significantly they don’t combine samples (as The Focus Group does) or mix in more contemporary elements (as Boards of Canada and Mordant Music do). In this way the original source object is largely ontologically intact, but is heavily ‘decayed’ or ‘decaying’. [4]
  • Jonny Mugwump: the paradoxical retro-futurist real-world mythologies of the Ghost Box label with related (Broadcast) and parallel travellers (Moon Wiring Club, Position Normal) [5]
  • "The Caretaker's apparitional sample morphology, through Ariel Pink's exquisite MOR narco-pop, the Ghost Box label's miniaturised vision of middle England, onto Burial's mournful rave dreams"


  • Mark Fisher, "Unhomesickness", Sep 2005 [6]
  • Simon Reynolds, Jan 2006, [7]
  • k-punk, "Home is where the haunt is: The Shining's hauntology", Jan 2006, [8]
  • Adam Harper, "Hauntology: The Past Inside The Present", Oct 2009, [9]

Random / sort through later[edit]

  • Wooden Veil, Berlin-based art group formed in 2007. Inspired by the shared hauntedness of their respective homelands, they combine elements from forgotten and misremembered traditions to create a microcosmic world which only Wooden Veil inhabits. Performances, installations and videos are characterized by an expansive wardrobe of ritual dress, and the creation of shrines, relics and talismans used to create music.
  • Boutique record label Ghost Box is inspired by a mutual love of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, cosmic horror, library records, English surrealism, and arts & crafts psychedelia. | Often created in consultation with Jupp, there are numerous visual reference points that contribute to the overall aesthetic, including pulp novels, weird folk-art, modernist institutional textbooks, vintage science fiction and occult paraphernalia. | Most of the early Ghost Box releases bear a resemblance to the classic designs of vintage Penguin and Pelican paperbooks, however it’s so masterfully deconstructed and reassembled by House that it feels fresh and unique. [10]
  • Through the magic of mirrors, multiple projectors and highly ingenious live on stage editing, Metamkine produces and directs a new film with each of their performances. Working around a core narrative, they spill eddies of impromptu vignettes, accompanied by a live soundtrack of tape fragments and ancient synthesiser sounds. Jérôme NOETINGER, electroacoustic devices + Christophe AUGER, projectors 16mm + Xavier QUÉREL, projectors 16mm. [11]
  • The Wire Salon: Revenant Forms: The Meaning of Hauntology - panel discussion' (Stream) [12]
  • haunted turner prize.... If what draws together all four shortlisted artists for the prize is melancholia and wistfulness for the past [13]
  • Pavlovce Mekenzi

Hypnagogic pop[edit]

Selected albums / short reviews[edit]

  • Ducktail - Landscapes (OEBC, 2009)
  • Oneohtrix Point Never - Rifts (No Fun): keyboard polysynth; "timbral fascism" (Wuethrich @Wire); musical narrative of an astronaut lost in space, his subsequent wanderings on an uninhabited planet and his old-age reflection on that time; realignment of low-rent pop culture from the 70s+80s, abandoned synth timbres and obsolete consumere electronics
  • Inca Ore & Ducktails & High Wolf: material resonant with a distressed nostalgia for halcyon days (Wire)
  • James Ferraro - KFC City 3099 Pt 1: Toxic Spill: lo-definition joyride through the polluted swamps of US cultural half-memory (Wire)
  • Pocahaunted: scrawled connections between free folk, LA-period Fleetwood Mac and dub with joyous abandon (Wire)
  • Emeralds & Oneohtrix Point Never: drag the beatless meditations of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream through a prism of 1980s pulp culture, accumulating layers of ectoplasmic residue which allow their music to glow with an unearthly, greenish-blue beauty (Wire)

Music videos[edit]

  • Sun Araw Deep Cover by Sun Araw, Mar 2010. [14]
  • Oneohtrix Point Never Ouroboros by Megazord, May 2010. [15]


James Ferraro (aka Grippers Nother Oneser), Pocahaunted, Emeralds, Daniel Lopatin (of Oneohtrix Point Never; of Infinity Window; Brooklyn), Inca Ore (Eva Saelens, @Not Not Fun), Ducktails (@OESB), High Wolf, Forest Swords (@OESB), Rangers (@OESB), Matrix Metals (aka Flashback, Sam Meringue)


  • David Keenan: US underground's equivalent strain of hauntology. These artists turned away from the bleak grind of Noise to embrace the fuzzily remembered forms of their childhoods, including soft rock and New Age. For them, the vague recollection of a zero-budget sci-fi flick watched once during a sleepover takes on a mythic, almost occult quality, ripe for processing via cheap technology into a sound that oscillates bwn the naggingly familiar and the utterly alien. (Wire, 2009)


  • Not Not Fun
  • Olde English Spelling Bee (OEBC), NYC, [16].


Witch House[edit]

aka drag, haunted house


  • Salem - Water EP (Merok)
  • Salem - Yes I Smoke Crack EP (Acephale)
  • White Ring / oOoOO - Split 7" (Emotion, 2010)

Music videos[edit]

  • White Ring Roses, Aug 2009. [18]
  • Salem skeeter davis - the end of the world (drag rmx), Dec 2009. [19]
  • Mater Suspiria Vision The Afterlife (Hypnagogic Remix) by Cosmotropia de Xam, Jan 2010. [20]
  • oOoOO Seaww by Daniel Lopatin, Mar 2010. [21] [22]
  • videos by Cosmotropia de Xam [23]


Salem (John Holland, Heather Marlatt, and Jack Donoghue; *2007; Chicago-Michigan-NYC) [24] [25], White Ring (Bryan Kurkimilis and Kendra Malia) [26], oOoOO (Christopher Dexter Greenspan; San Francisco) [27], Mater Suspiria Vision [28], Balam Acab (Alec Koone) [29], AIDS-3D (Berlin) [30], Tearist (LA) [31]


  • Disaro, Houston. Robert Disaro and owleyes (Jim Weigel) [32]
  • Tri Angle, Brooklyn/NYC. Robin Carolan

Term / Genre[edit]

  • "It's like a witching-hour vision of Cocteau Twins dream pop, meshed with the soundtrack to a particularly angsty Gregg Araki film full of Gen X shoegazer atmospherics and industrial beats, brought bang up to the date by the influence of raw hip hop mutations like chopped and screwed and juke. [..] There's an interest in superstition and the occult, but filtered through the very modern mindset of individuals who have grown up glued to the internet. It adds to the feeling of isolation, melancholy and loneliness. [..] There's a lot of re-contextualisation of religious and mythical symbolism. [..] They are obsessing over how they can create their own version of the hexagram as an emoticon." (Carolan) [33]
  • "Drag (or witch house) features a prominent hip hop influence, specifically the 90s Houston chopped and screwed scene pioneered by DJ Screw. The trademark chopped and screwed sound involves drastically slowed tempos on both the rap vocals and instrumentals with occasionally skipped beats, creating a hazy atmosphere said to mimic the effects of purple drank intoxication. This sound is re-contextualized in drag to create a darker, more sinister vibe." (Wright) [34]
  • "What drag is, so far at least, is a group of young, geographically scattered artists concurrently exploring ghostly, slow-moving electro-pop, each with their own unique spin. The term drag is partly a reference to screwed and chopped hip-hop, the syrupy style cooked up by DJ Screw and others in 1990s Houston, and was first used by the band Salem to describe their music. Salem took screwed and chopped's pacing-- its heavy, hypnotic pull-- and combined it with spooky synths and vocals to create an eerie, cavernous sound. This new batch of artists, which includes Balam Acab, White Ring, and Creep, are taking this idea in different directions. Houston hip-hop is still central, but they're also toying with dub, goth, current electro, ambient house á la KLF's Chill Out, and even chart pop.

Beyond even the aesthetic influence, "drag" does feel like a close relative to screwed and chopped. With its purposefully sluggish bpm and manipulated vocals, chopped and screwed turned no-nonsense street rap into something moodier and more psychedelic. It was an underground, even subversive genre, tied to syrup abuse and its mixtapes circulated among peers. And in a sense, that's what the "drag" musicians are doing with pop-- twisting it and slowing it down, making it druggier, and for now, working in a loose scene that's unrelated to a lot of what's happening in indie.
Each artist has his own take: Balam Acab sounds almost like rudimentary dubstep, oOoOO's songs are ethereal and sample heavy, and White Ring are on the darker edge of synth-pop. But they share some common traits. "Drag" tracks are always beat-driven but molasses-paced-- the bass is prominent, but drowsy and languid. Vocals are there, but no one's singing upfront. (Typically, vocals are manipulated in some way and buried in the mix.) It's not necessarily tech-y music-- there's a human quality to these songs but it's ghostly and distorted, as if the tracks themselves are haunted. Burial's Untrue and the Knife'sSilent Shout are obviously key influences." (Colly) [35]

  • taking the familiar dubby beats and haunting, pitch-shifted vocals and adding a more ambient, droney take to it that’s as beautiful as it is bleak + uncritical love of the reverb


  • Burial Untrue (Hyperdub, 2007)
  • screwed and chopped hip-hop, the Syrupy Southern @ 1990s Houston (DJ Screw and others)
  • Factory Records doom-pop
  • The Knife Silent Shout (Rabid, 2006) [36]
  • Beta Evers Destination Lost @ Eruption EP (Kommando 6, 2005)


  • Scott Wright, "Scene and heard: Drag", Guardian, Mar 2010. [37]
  • Joe Colly, "Ghosts in the Machine", Pitchfork, May 2010. [38]
  • Joey Hansom, "Trying to define 'witch house' can be a real drag", May 2010. [39]

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