The musical genre "witch house" was coined in 2009 as a joke to describe the occult-themed house music that was being made by producer Travis Edegy. The meme proliferated on blogs, reaching Pitchfork Media and eventually coming to describe a new genre of music with heavy ties to industrial house music, noise, hip-hop, and even 80s goth music. (wiki) Bands such as White Ring, Salem, oOoOO, and †‡† (pronounced Ritualz) have become synonymous with the sound and aesthetic of this new genre, if witch house can really be called a new genre of music. The aesthetic of this type of music involves crosses, occult symbols and imagery, and it has borrowed the dark colors and gloom of 80s goth subculture. Edegy, who produces under the stage name Pictureplanes, said in January 2011, "No one really knows what witch house is, but there are people consciously trying to make witch house now." Even the frontman of the Deftones, Chino Moreno, has recently released a "witch house" EP in August under the stage name †††, a case where a mainstream artist is experimenting with this emergent underground sound.
There is a digital/virtual component of this project, since the emergence of witch house has depended heavily on the internet, communities such as Last.fm, blogging, and remix culture. Even the trend of witch house artists embedding digital symbols - especially crosses and upside-down crosses - in their names and their song titles, seems to be tied to the digital ways many people consume new/underground music, through Youtube, services like Last.fm, and even iTunes. However, there can and should also be a live component to this project, as witch house is moving from Last.fm, Youtube and blogs into live music culture. The current AS220 schedule has Dream Boat, "creator of monolithic witch house sounds," scheduled to play in Providence on October 9th. This ethnographic research project could utilize both perspectives - from the internet communities that began this "genre," and from within the live culture where it is just now emerging - to gain a sense of the current ways in which new music subgenres and subcultures emerge, and who is participating in subcultures like "witch house," if such a subculture could be said to really exist (whether on- or offline).