February 20, 2018
The story of Sexcoven.mp3, a 6-hour atonal drone track that got teenagers high in the late nineties.
Angela Shackel

Sexcoven.mp3 is a sound file that was uploaded to the internet on July 26, 1996. It was described as a “6-hour atonal drone”, and according to Slammer Magazine, listeners reported cascading feelings of dread, fear and euphoria. The track circulated among teenagers and by 2001, “covencrawls” had become a teen trend, which resulted in several deaths and injuries. Some thought the track contained subliminal messages; others believed that it triggered the prefrontal cortex in a way that caused temporary insanity.

The source of the file is still unknown.

Jillian Tamaki wrote a short story about Sexcoven in her recent graphic novel, Boundless.

Our exploration of the Sexcoven phenomenon leads us from the quietest place on earth to a group of Montreal sound artists who are working with a mental health practitioner to stimulate altered states of consciousness.


Michael Dean makes sound compositions as Wiklow. Find more here.


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