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 tradition that is both a practice and a 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.
who we are
Russ Marshalek is a musician, producer, DJ, social media consultant, rescue frenchie dad, witch and licensed personal trainer based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
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 in Greenpoint.
Vanessa Irena is a musician, multimedia artist, occultist, and witch living in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from New Orleans, she was introduced to magic at a young age. She has studied Buddhist meditation since 2010 and she received her 200 hour yoga teacher training through Three Sisters Yoga. She is an avid student of astrology and tarot, and a cartomancer, both self-taught and as an student of the western mystery school Builders Of The Adytum. She has studied both magic and witchcraft with Devin Hunter, Storm Faerywolf, Chas Bogan, and Jason Miller.
A long time musician and DJ, she currently produces solo music and DJs as knifesex. Her past work includes production and lead vocals for NYC band The Harrow, and production and vocals for electronic duo Synesect, her project with Aaron Joel. She also formerly performed as a live member of Public Memory, the solo project of Robert Toher.
She is the founder of Hathor, a collective of female solo electronic producers.
Musically, her work experimentally draws from elements of post-industrial, noise, and trip hop. Thematically her music is heavily influenced by feminism and spirituality, specifically witchcraft, buddhism, astrology, and the tarot.
Her work serves as both a form of ritual purification and a vehicle for ecstatic dance.
Shanda is a musician, Yoga and Cycling instructor at Equinox in NYC, and founder of Yoga for Goths in Brooklyn (because weirdos need fitness too, just with a better soundtrack) She has been teaching yoga for a decade, indoor cycling for almost as long, and former tennis player and track star. See: Health goth deluxe. She is Vocalist/Song Shaman for the occult feminist doom gaze dance pop band, A Place Both Wonderful and Strange, fledgling DJ, and Member of Hathor, a collective of female solo electronic music producers.
She is also the electronic music producer/composer and Vocalist for OKTI Music.
Shanda is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. The word OKTI means snow in the Chickasaw language, however for Shanda, it is also oxygen to the flame. For her, OKTI is a solo exploration between layers of vulnerability, power, sound, and silence.
Her musical background as a vocalist, performer, and a songwriter is as deep as the roots of the mountains. Influences range from contemporary classical works to new underground electronic artists. OKTI seeks to bind simplicity and depth together through electronic sonic expression.
OKTI's sound is just as the barren, yet strong branches of a tree in winter. The tree is still alive, with or without all the leaves, because it knows springtime will always return.