WH//WH Video of the Day: MALA HERBA “Wszystko marność / Omnia Vanitas”

Video of the Day Mala Herba

Vienna based solo project Mala Herba is the brainchild of synth witch, non-binary artist Zosia Holubowska whose music is based on research about Eastern European traditional magic and demonology, exploring queerness and sex-positivity.

Mala Herba has made quite a name for herself with viscerally powerful and unsettling performances around Europe, combining intense, witchy vocals and improvisation on a full hardware set-up. Following a self-released demo tape in 2017 via fellow Viennese DIY label Transformer Records and featured in 3 different compilations, right from those early debut comes “Wszystko marność // Omnia Vanitas,” freshly remixed and enhanced with a VHS video vibrating with an increasingly dark, dancy and mature sound.

Inspired by Polish traditions of winter songs about death, decay and Dance Macabre, a popular medieval art trope representing the dance of death, while melody and lyrics are based on a traditional Polish funeral song. 

Sharp menacing buzzing and obsessively bouncing synths penetrated by sparse hypnotic kicks, claps and quick skipping metallic beats, and prominent arcane bewitching vocals serenade and hypnotize like a snake charmer’s flute.

The 100% DIY and also 100% femme and queer lead video has been shot in the basement of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna as well as queer feminist house project “Rosa Lilla Villa”.  It depicts four girls scantily clad in gothic cheerleading attire, painted white faces smudged aggressively with black eye makeup and dark undefined lips set against the backdrop of choreographed dance numbers, gymnastics tumbling, and other freestyles grooves. Lights flicker in sync with beats, reverse motion photography exaggerates causing spider legs to sprout, and shadows hide, harrow, and heighten the atmosphere of black magic doom.
Dark, dangerous, and sexy dance designs ignite precision chemistry for the music and bodies as they “broke doll” gyrate to their last rights.

Keep up with Mala Herba:

Photo by @jadwigajanowska