Mexico City-based witch house pioneer Ritualz (†‡†) was an early adopter of the style, and with the recent signing with Re:Mission Entertainment, has been releasing remastered versions of earlier work. Released originally in February of 2011, Ghetto Ass Witch received its rerelease in November of 2021, just in time for its 10-year anniversary celebration. Outside of an improved sound quality, the remastered version is identical to the original, containing the same eight tracks without any additional bonuses or remixes.
“Ritualz” immediately assaults the listener with one of the most prototypical witch house tracks on the record; the familiar droning noise and occult samples establish an immediate tone, which feels like a natural continuation of the sound the band established on the previous release. The titular “Ghetto Ass Witch” features guest vocals from producer and rapper GVCCI HVCCI, containing the most over-the-top examples of the overt occultism that often pushes witch house into a self-parody, with lyrics like “I’m writing rhymes on Ouija boards” and “fucking with a pentagram, I’m your sacrificial lamb.” The album also closes with “Star Magick,” a track featuring primarily noise and chaos, bookending Ghetto Ass Witch with an aural assault on the ears. However, there are songs on this record where Ritualz shows early signs of being influenced by other adjacent genres and sounds, including the tribal percussion and electro stabs on “Baba Vanga,” the catchy and almost synthpop-esque synth patterns on “Third Eye Sixth Sense,” and the techno grooves on “Laguna.” Ritualz would continue experimentation with these additional sounds as the catalog grew, leaning much more into industrial and darkwave programming and mostly escaping the witch house subgenre.
It is important to note that this album came out 10 years ago and often times truly sounds like it; Ritualz has been releasing much more diverse and varied content since the initial release of Ghetto Ass Witch. Looking through the lens of 2011, however, one can see the earliest formations of a producer who would greatly evolve. The rerelease of Ghetto Ass Witch does not provide a familiar consumer with enough new to justify a fresh listen, but it does offer an opportunity for an unfamiliar listener to partake in a cross-section of the weird world of witch house.