The new collection emphasizes the efficiency with which Winer mixed genres and approaches: the slow trip-hop of the time, the breakbeats, the New Orleans funk band The Meters, samples of the general H. Norman Schwarzkopf and the words of the poet Charles Bernstein. “Tree” samples a casual Irish jig, chopped and layered to buzz like an Indian drone. Winer’s delivery – dragging but quick, with a harsh, acerbic smoker’s tone – was nothing like the quick slam poets of the day, more like the dry delivery of his mentor, Burroughs.
Winer would often pick up passages from other writers, quote other songs, and apply his own dreamlike logic to it all, creating something eloquent, brutal, and cryptic at the same time. The monologue at the heart of ‘N 1 Ear’, for example, is inspired by a famous line by Gil Scott-Heron and a women’s liberation journal she found in London, ending with a powerful statement. that’s unique to him: “I didn’t hit you, baby / When I hit you, you’ll feel it.”
Jah Wobble, who performed on the songs meant for “Witch,” said it was clear the music was not meant for the masses. “It was obviously more of an art record than a commercial type release,” he said. “After the session was over, this was the last time I heard of it. I assumed he was put aside.
Winer continued to make music in the years following “Witch”, working with trumpeter Jon Hassell, first sampler Holger Hiller and another model-turned-musician, Grace Jones, before moving to rural France and focus on educating her five daughters. Over the years, a new generation has slowly come to his music.
“It was both familiar and completely new to me, a rarity to find,” wrote electronic producer Maxwell Sterling, who recently worked with Winer on a track for his latest album and an upcoming Tim Buckley cover, in an email. “Each of his words is suspended in the air and reacts to rhythmic and harmonic information within the music, which never ceases to move me.”
Recently, Winer has collaborated with a new generation of producers, his low growl of a deepened voice and weathered over time. “I love to sing along to other people’s tracks,” she said. “They are like puzzles. “
When asked how to describe his writing style later via email, Winer replied, “I don’t see myself having to describe it.” She added: “It contains information for which we don’t have exact words.”