feature: 16-year-old black female producer spinelli salem brings a fresh twist to witch house on her ‘trash: valium one ep’ #soundcheck

August 27, 2014

Though the genre Witch House may have started as something of a sarcastic joke (or at least the name did), the dark, chopped and screwed electro scene has increasingly become a serious force in the underground. 16 year old NYC producer Spinelli Salem mixes her sounds with trap beats and dark dense ambiance on her latest Thrash: Valium One EP.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

From the 909 beats and spacey claps of “Impure” to the flanged analog electro-bass, Spinelli Salem initially hews close to 80’s gothic electro. The track is all menacing atmospheres, jittering beats, and dreamy (or maybe nightmar-y) synth lines. With “SWIM” the trap and chopped and screwed influences merge with her ultra dark synth lines. It’s disorienting: simultaneously aggressive and chill. This is probably the best way to experience taking bad acid.

“X” finds the producer engaging in some of the glitchy and noisy synths that her 8-bit Atari imagery inspires. A strong synth line mixed with the kind of multi-kick beat that Trent Reznor would have lusted after in his Pretty Hate Machine days, and oddly menacing bird calls anchor “Chronic.” It’s not surprising that Spinelli Salem distinguishes herself most as a producer when she incorporates found sounds and samples and works them into her ambient spiderweb. The samples give some contrast and context to the dark synth lines, giving their darkness meaning and resonance. On this Thrash: Valium One, Spinelli Salem distinguishes herself as a talented young producer who demands attention. Listen up.