The Best of 2K11: THOED MYNDEZ – THOED MYNDEZ

Witch house/drag was never meant to be discovered, much less go mainstream. Artists associated with the scene shrouded their faces (often literally) and chose unicode-laden, google-breaking names in an effort to keep this underground from becoming the next dubstep, or whatever.

But scenes, as scenes often do, fall apart, often as much from internal pressure as much as from unwanted outside examination. The witch house label, more of an in-joke than an actual genre, is being left behind and many of the relentlessly productive artists are continuing to push forward, leaving the scene for the tail end of the bandwagon. Even the catch-all term “drag” fails to pin down anything more than a penchant for pitch shifting, leaving many of these artists free to make their own rules and craft their own genres.

THOED MYNDEZ features two artists who have orbited the witch house/drag explosion (and resulting implosion), often overlapping small areas of the scene’s imaginary Venn diagram without ever seeming to fit the construct enough to wear the label comfortably. THOED MYNDEZ is Nattymari, a dub and DJ Screw acolyte whose Youtube channel currently hosts over 200 of his tracks/videos, and Party Trash, another productive-as-hell artist who has released 9 albums and EPs in little over a year, in addition to several collaborative projects.

This witch-house-but-not tag-team cranks out an inordinate amount of oppressive noise. Sure, there’s some touches that bring the witch into the backyard, if not into the house proper at times and, yes, the love for DJ Screw shifts the vocal samples into sizzurp territory now and then, but the overall EP bears more resemblance to early industrial tape experiments and the faulty analogue equipment of hundreds of electronic forefathers.

There’s also brief glimpses of buried beauty scattered among the sonic wreckage. The title track opens with a few cracks of tonal daylight before the darkness sets in, sounding for all the world like a Last Rights bonus track, right down to the metric tonnage of doom-laden chords and interspersed aural damagers.

DAILY ROUTINE also features some brighter keyboard work, but with an underlying bad vibe, giving it the feel of a John Carpenter soundtrack cut, the sort of intermediate piece that supports the scenes between the horror. There’s nothing particularly comforting about the fact that NO ONE IS DYING RIGHT THIS MINUTE because odds are, it won’t be long ’til it happens again. And again. And again.

[Not included on the album, but well worth a watch/listen.]

But for the most part, THOED MYNDEZ is a batch of brown acid. Dangerous shards of noise rain down on a bed of distorted drums and pulverizing sub-bass, occasionally punctuated by punch-drunk, pitch-shifted vocal samples. It’s disorienting and uninviting, but in the best “no one gives a shit about yer precious genres and self-imposed limitations” sort of way.

Download full EP here.

/s/CLT

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