We are psyched to welcome, guest and friend, Jan Schwarzkamp to the pages of the Haus Nostromo Journal. We have collaborated together on our 'Witch Ritual' DJ nights for a few years now and in the absence of a physical communion, Jan has compiled this mystic and marvellous playlist in it's stead. Below you'll find the latest edition of Witch Ritual in all its glory and can read Jan's account of the history of this meeting of minds.
Without further ado, over to Jan...
What you are about to experience is the tale of Witch Ritual – a musical experience that only happened four times some years ago. It was the culmination of dark shadowed potions and notions from a band called Esben And The Witch and some guy named Jan Schwarzkamp (who is the very author of this introduction). This is how it all started…
It was one hellish hot Saturday afternoon. A label – Season Of Mist – where EATW just had anchored, invited a bunch of press people and journalists to a craft beer bar on Danziger Strasse in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg. As said: It was a perfect summer’s day where people are supposed to hang in the park, lie underneath a tree or go swimming in a lake. And it seemed that everybody did so – except one guy. You might have guessed by now: T’was me, all sweaty but willing to listen to Older Terrors solely with the band in tow.
May Rachel Davies’, Daniel Copeman’s and Thomas Fisher’s songs be full of doom and gloom, the three characters behind them are light-hearted, humble and very friendly. It didn’t take much for us to get along, being aware of how awkward this whole situation somehow was. We made the best out of it and enjoyed the chill of the bar.
Instead of listening closely to the album – not a single of those four songs is shorter than ten minutes! – we had a nice chit-chat. At some point I asked if the three of them may like to accompany me DJ-ing. Back then I had some kind of after-work club-thing going on at a place called Baumhaus Bar. I called that monthly series of events Nerds & Nuggets. The idea behind it was to have a different musical outlook, a different sonic concept with every edition. I was the host welcoming a variety of different guests by my side behind the desk.
EATW were kind enough to say yes and give it a try. They told me that they had some DJ- gigs a while back in England. So I worked out a concept that I hoped was right up their alley. I called it the Witch Ritual. I promoted the event with explicative lines like “They will spin mystic and magnificent tunes in between the twilight zone of drone and ambient, shoegaze and dream pop, occult rock and darkwave, gloomy psychedelia and shimmering post-punk. So put on your blackest clothes and don’t forget the pentagrams round your neck. And be forewarned to scatter some salt on your door sills before you leave! The witches’ sabbath is going strong!”
A few people showed up and we had fun battling each other with delicate tunes. Actually: We had so much fun that Witch Ritual was the only Nerds & Nuggets-event that got a regular rerun. Four times in three years – with a bonus edition as EATW asked me to support their concert at Privat Club Berlin with a pre-set. I was so flattered as I know how much thought and earnestness they put into their art. And they asked me – some guy who admitted that he isn’t even too keen about their gloomy epics.
Anyway: EATW now have this thing – Haus Nostromo – and they asked me if I’d like to participate. With a pocket-size Witch Ritual. One that you can celebrate in your own home – if you are willing to make use of this notorious thing named Spotify. But if you’re fine with selling your soul to the corporate devil you can embark on a journey into the whole wide world of Witch Ritual. The 55 songs I picked are in a very specific order. Sorry, but I am very anal about that. So I dare you to please not listen to the set in shuffle-mode. It’s almost five hours of music, kind of a proper DJ-set that should entertain you for a whole evening (or work day, or walk through the woods, or train-ride, or at whatever occasion you may listen to it).
For obvious reasons you’re going to encounter mostly women (behind the microphone), playing music that is atmospheric, tribal, primal, dark and dreamy. You will travel back to 1968 and return to 2021. You will be able to stomp and dance around the fire (please keep an extinguisher close!), you can rock out and dream away. You can burn magic herbs and sip on some magic potions. You can cast spells and howl to the moon. The Witch Ritual shall be the fitting soundtrack.
There isn't any Nerds & Nuggets for now. But you can still listen to Jan Schwarzkamp via FRITZ radio (https://www.fritz.de/
programm/sendungen/beste_) or read his stuff in VISIONS magazine (www.visions.de). If you want to reach out to him try Facebook or Instagram.
Witch Ritual VI Playlist
Anna von Hausswolff – Evocation
Circuit Des Yeux – A Story Of This World
Stonefield – Broken Stone
Blackwater Holylight - Willow
Rose Windows – Native Dreams
Rose Kemp – Nanny’s World
Jex Thoth – The Places You Walk
Chelsea Wolfe – 16 Psyche
Myrkur – Funeral (feat. Chelsea Wolfe)
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
Nadine Shah – Aching Bones
Sqürl – Funnel Of Love (Wanda Jackson Cover)
Karen Elson – Season Of The Witch (Donovan Cover)
Mayssa Karaa – White Rabit (Jefferson Airplane Cover)
Deradoorian – Devil’s Market
Coven – White Witch Of Rose Hall
Pisces – Sam
Jarboe – Late Night (Pink Floyd Cover)
Dana Gillespie – Sun Arise (Rolf Harris Cover)
Siouxsie & The Banshees – Spellbound
Emma Ruth Rundle – Protection
EMA – Soul On Fire (Danzig Cover)
True Widow – F. W. T. S: L. T. M.
Black Math Horseman – Tyrant
Black Widow – Come To The Sabbat
Ramases – Molecular Delusions
The Doors – My Wild Love
Haight-Ashbury – Preacher
Black Mountain – Breathe
Thom Yorke – Has Ended
Dark Horses – Rose
Hamerkop – Polisher
JJUUJJUU – Ancient’s Future
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Follow The Leader
Arbouretum – Song Of The Rose
Kimono Drag Queens – Wild Animals
Goat – Gathering Of Ancient Tribes
Hills – Anukthal Is Here
Capra Informis – I Darkness, You Fire
Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sunny Afternoon
Tamaryn – Sandstone
L’Épée – Un Rituel Inhabituel
Mamiffer – All That Is Beautiful
The Vampire’s Sound Incorporation – Necronomania
Goblin – Suspiria
Baron – Deeper Align
Inez – Rising Sun
Six Organs Of Admittance – Taken By Ascent (feat. Haley Fohr)
Alexander Tucker – Precog
Swans – It’s Coming It’s Real
Ezra Feinberg – Aquainted With The Night
Fairport Convention – She Moves Through The Fair
Black Sabbath – Solitude
Emma Elisabeth – Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf Cover)
A.A. Williams – Nights In White Satin (The Moody Blues Cover)