Thursday 28 December 2023


From his earliest artistic output Pictureplane, aka human person, artist and musician Travis Egedy, has always been at a crossroads of creative worlds. Coining the term witch house in 2010 to jokingly describe his music (even though the genre "didn’t even really exist" at the time), his early music fuzzed and glittered like a haunted rave. Tracks such as 'Day Glowwed' from 2008's Turquoise Trail and 'Goth Star', appearing on Dark Rift (2009), showed a fizzing versatile style, blending euphoric dance and commmanding drums in a digestible, otherworldly vehicle of earworming melodies. Remixes in this occult-tinged trance flavour for the likes of HEALTH – namely 'Die Slow' – spread his music to a wider audience; indeed, former HEALTH member Jupiter Keyes would go on to co-produce and engineer Egedy's standout 2011 release, Thee Physical.

Occupying not merely a niche of underground internet music but existing more as a touchstone for the alternative of the 21st-century music scene, Egedy's influence and network of creativity is subtle but easy to follow. The late Lil Peep's collaboration with Egedy's "subterranean streetwear" line Alien Body, to take one example (even Billie Eilish was seen sporting a c. 2018 Lil Peep × Alien Body shirt) and releasing his 2021 album DOPAMINE on label 100% Electronica, brainchild of George Clanton, a component of 2010s musical phenemenon vaporwave. All these delicious gossamer threads interweave in a goth-laden Venn diagram of digital-age DIY proportions, with Egedy nebuously in there somewhere.

On that note we are delighted to round up 2023 with a list of Egedy's favourite tracks of the year. From rap to dungeon synth, from black metal to house, it's a smorgasbord of sounds that indicate the continued ingenuity and incredible, singular talents for musicmaking that exist in various spaces in the world. Read on☟

Peso Pluma, Gabito Ballesteros, Junior H – LADY GAGA

Travis Egedy: I was in Mexico City a few times this year and Peso Pluma's name was everywhere. The guy is a superstar, and I'm all about it. I love this whole wave of young Mexican artists doing these "corridos tumbados", or "trap corridos". It's traditional regional music done in a totally new way. I fell in love with this song and have listened to it on repeat since I first heard it. It is Brilliant.

Departure Chandelier – Accipitridae

TE: Departure Chandelier are definitely one of my favorite bands. Self-described "Napoleonic War Metal", They have a new album called Satan Soldier of Fortune dropping in 2024, but they put up a few preview tracks from the album on their bandcamp. The mix of melodic choral synths, raw and blackened guitar riffs and themes of French warfare from the early 1800s is really unparalleled. It is so fire.

Hole Dweller – Greener Pastures

TE: The king of Tolkien-based Comfy Synth. Hole Dweller's music is so inspiring to me. His melodies really can transport you to a distant land of hobbit holes, smoke rings, wizard hats and dragon wings. This is synth music that has left the dungeon and is basking out in the summer sun in a field of blooming flowers. His newest EP, Crossroads was created mostly with a mandolin, and he SHREDS. His records have provided the soundtrack for many Magic: The Gathering games for me and friends.

Westside Gunn, Stove God Cooks – Kitchen Lights

TE: I grew up as a deep underground hip-hop head. To me, what the Flygod and Griselda Records are doing is just hitting everything perfectly that is magical about east coast hip-hop right now. It is gold. This song is unreal. Its so visual. I can envision cooking up drugs on a stove, with piles of cash stacked up under the kitchen lights. Just raw romance, swagger and emotion.

$uicideboy$ – Not Even Ghosts Are This Empty

TE: I really admire SuicideBoys, they have insane work ethic, have amassed an incredibly loyal fanbase, are selling out stadiums, all making the artistic music they want to on their own terms, independently. And their music is fucking amazing. I listen to it a lot. This isn't really my favorite song by them, but it dropped this year and it is very good.

Boys Noize & Skream – Trip

TE: Boys Noize is another artist I admire. He is just crazy talented and masterful of multiple genres of nasty dance music. And he is making some of the best music of his career right now. This track with Skream is hallucinogenic break beat dance floor euphoria. Very good.

DJ Boneyard – Flutter

TE: This year one of my musical obsessions was the Australian/London record label, Steel City Dance Discs. I played so much music released on that label in my DJ sets. Artists like Kettama, X Club, Nite Fleit, X-Coast, Clouds, Mall Grab, and Dagga were riding an insane wave of disgusting lo-fi electro, melodic trance and techno that I was really feeling. "Flutter" is a stone cold electro synth banger that is dark and mysterious. It is just sick as fuck. One for the ravers.

Arbor – Behold... The Age of Pagan Blood

TE: I dont know much about this one man black metal project, other than they go by the name Taurus, who is also the mastermind behind amazing projects like Gauntlet Ring and Fellwinter. This is their debut full-length record as Arbor, and it is masterful. Incredible melodic riffs that bring out melancholic emotions deep from within my inner spirit. It's powerful, introspective raw black metal music and it makes me feel happy to be alive. Sometimes I am blown away that music this good even exists, and is being made by some mysterious person by themselves in a room somewhere.

Trhä – lhum'ad'sejja

TE: An even more mysterious artist, Trhä, has created their own language that they write lyrics in. A crazy prolific artist making some of the most profound sounding, blown out, atmospheric, and beautiful underground melodic black metal right now. I love all of their records, and this one from 2023 is no different.

Twin Tribes – Monolith

TE: I listened to a lot of Twin Tribes this year, all of their records, like A LOT. This was a new single they dropped and its very good. they are masters of goth synth. I first saw them play at a festival I performed at in LA, and was instantly a fan. They are really good songwriters, like every song is a HIT.

Quest Master – Sword & Circuitry

TE: By far one of my favorite artists who is "dungeon synth" adjacent. Quest Master is a master of melody and beauty. The music has an old school '90s Final Fantasy vibe, perfect for role-playing games with your friends. They are just extremely talented and I love listening to their gorgeous records at home. This newest EP is no different, and a brilliant addition to their stunning catalogue.

Këkht Aräkh – Wanderer

TE: The newest track from romantic DIY black metal phenom, Këkht Aräkh, is so sick. Oozing sex appeal, and the music video sees him acting sort of like an underground rapper in the woods, which makes sense seeing as he collaborated with GothBoiClique legends, Lil Tracy, Nedarb Nagrom and Horsehead in the great 2023 track "Deadline". The track feels timeless, and represents a new wave. Fire.

Photography by Bedford Towers taken at Travis Egedy's Brooklyn studio
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