New Jack Witch was founded with the belief and mission that magic is our birthright and should be accessible and available to all who seek it as a tool of self-empowerment, self-knowledge, and service. We believe that magic is a living and ever-evolving practice and worldview, and as such should be celebrated and explored through multiple media and throughout all aspects of culture: music, art, fitness, health and wellness, fashion, performance, events, classes, and writing.
Photo by Maheen Lemon
Russ Marshalek is a musician, producer, DJ, social media consultant, witch and licensed personal trainer based in Queens, NY.
After the dissolution of his original band, Silent Drape Runners, Russ founded his current musical project, a place both wonderful and strange, in 2013. A “feminist occult doom gaze noise pop” project, a place both wonderful and strange has morphed incarnations since inception, but Russ remains the artistic director and core. In 2014 APBWAS released “NEW JACK WITCH”, an audiovisual experience, via Mishka, with plans to eventually release a full dark electronic rock opera based around the concept of occultism, emotion and the internet.
a place both wonderful and strange has performed with the likes of The Lady in the Radiator and The Crystal Method, and in 2014 received a commission from the David Lynch Foundation to create what has come to be their trademark performance, an audio/visual/movement piece titled “Keys Open Doors: The Hidden Life of Laura Palmer”. In July of 2016 a place both wonderful and strange released an audio soundtrack component to the piece, “The Laura Palmer Deviations”, and in October of 2016 “I Miss Her So Much: The Laura Palmer Remixes” will serve as the initial release on APBWAS’ record label, OWLs. As a DJ, Russ is a co-founder and 1/3 of the Brooklyn party trio ADVENTURE[s], who held a monthly residency at seminal Brooklyn venue Glasslands, known for both starting the “emo DJ night” trend and inventing the all-pop “Robyn party” nights, which have sold out in advance every time for the last three years.
After a childhood lacking in nutrition and wellness, Russ’s interest in fitness and wellness stems from a deep desire to use the body to quiet the mind and utilize holistic spiritual and physical wellness practices in tandem to empower individuals to care for themselves. Inspired by the all-inclusive chiaroscuro of SoHo’s The Monster Cycle, Russ got certified in personal training and he currently offers FitCraft, a personalized, intense half-hour training session by appointment.
Vanessa Irena is musician, DJ, multimedia artist, and witch born and raised in New Orleans, and currently based in Queens, NY.
She currently produces experimental devotional music and art as knifesex. Her past work includes production and lead vocals for NYC band The Harrow, and production and vocals for electronic duo Synesect. She has also performed as a live member of Public Memory and produced tracks for a place both wonderful and strange. She was the host of the dark electronic radio show TOTAL CONTROL on Brooklyn’s Newtown Radio for two years.
Musically, her work experimentally draws from elements of post-industrial, noise, and trip hop. Thematically her music is heavily influenced by feminism and spirituality. Her work is primarily devotional and serves as both a form of ritual purification and a vehicle for ecstatic dance.
She released her first EP, Deipna, on the OWLs label in January of 2017 and her first full-length album, dedicated to the goddess Babalon, in November of 2017. Her track Sex & Death was released on Highbrow Lowlife as part of the COVEN compilation produced by Carl Abrahamsson and dedicated to the memory of Lady Jaye Breyer-P-Orridge.