WTCHCRFT – Drugs Here
New York’s WTCHCRFT forms part of a new guard of young Black innovators connecting the dots between the history of Black dance music and the future. In particular, he’s casting spells by morphing acid house and techno into rapid-fire, often filthy club formulations. His pivot from downtempo trap to mind-melting acid was an essential turning point for the producer, who told DJ Mag last year he questioned the direction of his sound “when really what I want to be doing is making people dance.” And so, a handful of singles and six EPs later, we arrive at his latest, Drugs Here.
The four track EP is an onslaught of caustic, propulsive club music. The title track layers squiggling, squeamish arpeggios against a skittish back beat and techno clap. Uhmm, which was brilliantly included on TSHA’s recent fabric presents mix, is a standout with its relentless, rapid fire claps and acetic bass. No Time To Lose shows touches of Jersey club in its breakneck pattern and looped, almost comical vocal sample. Comedy, in fact, is essential to Drugs Here. There’s an irreverence to WTCHCRFT that’s steeped in the hedonism and head rush of the dance floor. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition to the otherwise aggressive energy of the music itself, which is programmed for attack. Drugs Here leaves little room to breathe across its 22 minutes, surging through the motifs of acid house and techno with a hungry fervour. It’s possible that this is due in part to WTCHCRFT’s recent adoption of these styles, and he speeds through unpacking his new toys with childlike excitement. Yet for all its tropes, Drugs Here avoids feeling derivative. The connections WTCHCRFT finds between forms and styles make for something familiar, sure, but never tired. The Jersey club bounce of Time To Lose, for instance, is a brilliant touch of personality, one which shows up again on EP closer Run It Bak Attak and stays ticking away at its core while it morphs into pounding techno.
WTCHCRFT’s only discernible modus operandi (for now) is the dance floor, and he’s moving into his new home with an eagerness and urgency that we suspect will result in more fast and furious dance monsters. In a landscape where the politics of house and techno are becoming hot topics, WTCHCRFT’s sound is a welcome reminder that sometimes, we just have to shut the f*** up and dance.
Listen to Uhmm from Drugs Here below.