«Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live - Exodus 22 :18»
What is striking when you step into Witxes music is how every aspect of it, no matter how blurry it may sound, is accurate and justified. I tend to think that this sort of precision comes from Maxime’s background as a songwriter blessed with a talent for melodies. At the time I met him 5 years ago, he headed classic pop-rock band Haunted Candy Shop, but relentlessly aimed at taking pop-music outside of the box by injecting influences from various genres and crafting good lyrics. When the band went on an indefinite hiatus – without even releasing their second album – Maxime worked with Солярис, an instrumental post-hardcore unit for which he displayed the same fastidiousness in building brilliant guitar lines. Call him a perfectionist, I’d rather say that he is passionate and definitely has high standards when it comes down to music and above all his own. 2010’s Scrawls #01 proved that under the moniker of Witxes he was now able to work on his own in a more abstract guitar laden ambient field which was no less moving and spellbinding. Last year his live setup helped him to mature new directions now exposed on Winter Light Burns, a massive 26 minute-piece which serves as an appetizer before his first album is released next Spring (Scrawls #01 was rather a collection of tracks). Witxes summons us to a spooky bloody sabbath with a cauldron filled with the bleaker aspects of his past tunes: squealing and squeaking parts eventually let notes of a ghost piano haunt our ears with mesmerizing effects that end up in a aerial epiphany : out of the nerve-racking darkness, winter light radiates and burns our delicate eyes, but the pain is exquisite. In his particular realm, not so far from those of Haxan Cloak’s, Ben Frost’s or Tim Hecker’s, Witxes makes fine promises that we’re dying to see him fulfill on his new album. Get thy broom and spellbook if thou darest : this witx must live !
mastered by Michaël Mysak
photographs by Leonardo Rosado and Maxime Vavasseur
cover design by Leonardo Rosado
(cc) by nc nd February 2012