A lot of the producers today seemed to have entirely missed an incredible and important moment of time, when it comes to genres of dark synth based music. Witch House didn’t not leave it’s mark. And a lot of this lo-fi dark hip hop and dark trap shit these days is more witch house than it isn’t and it feels like it missed (or ignored) an entire moment of musical history. It’s hard to look ahead when we don’t look back, but looking back is one of our great saviors. If we allow it.
Looking back, “Dominants” from the Russian producer known as Ritual Drops sounds more like it was supposed to have appeared on the NIKE7UP mix I have, for many a year now, cited as the peak and pinnacle moment of the witch house scene. They cite “dark trap” as a genre and I just don’t feel it. This is witch house in the most pure and true sense. And immaculately so.
I might be “late to the party”, this having been released three years ago, but it sounds fresh and new while also feeling like a bit of a throwback. Where a lot of witch house in its so-called heydey was rooted in or referencing popular music in one form or another, “Dominants” stands out on its own as entirely original and individual, yet familiar enough for fans of the genre/scene to not feel left in the lurch.
Big, huge walls of dark and gritty synth movements come to life, evolve, and die over a backdrop of electronic percussion that is somewhere in the realms of EBM, industrial, hip hop, and EDM. Orchestral muted vocals and strings weave themselves in and out between the synths and drums. Where epic trance music lifts you up and brings you down, Ritual Drops brings you down and then lifts you up.
Undeniably murky and dark and back alley, “Dominants” is an album of hope personified. It is witch house. It is dark. But it is also romantic. It is also love. It is a juicy and oily and smoky and questionable night between two strangers looking for affirmation.
Ritual Drops – “Dominants” on Bandcamp.