As part of the fatuous and ephemeral “witch-house” tagged coven – applied to and touted as an in-joke by Pitchfork – New York’s White Ring happily add more kindling to this neatly contrived funeral pyre of an appellation.
Courting growing attention and plaudits, mostly good – the Gothic duo of ,subliminal abstruse and effete siren, Kendra Malia and, 80s obsessed synth-hound, Bryan Kurkimills mix together some unlikely influences. From the low-rider, thin 808 drumbeat pre-sets of late 80s Miami and L.A Hip Hop, to dry-ice horror film scores, the spooked pair produce, an often wearisome, but equally grandoise back-drop of dread, morose, and suffused melancholy.
This their debut LP, or over-extended EP, of sorts – the duo originally formed back in the mid noughties – was recorded back in 2010: surfacing again this week, with a new marketing push. Boiling up the cauldron, White Ring open the rites ceremony with the esoterically coded ‘ICX999’ opus: a broody pulsating marker for what lies in store, with Malia swooning like a tortured spirit to, what can only be described as, Salem new jack swing meets the Gazelle Twin backing. Most of the material ambles and creeps along to this haunted blueprint, with only subtle variations in tempo, or naunced linear melodies to break the monotony – their tumbling malestrom ‘Faded‘ for example tries its hand at a sonnet, before falling into Dantes Inferno.
Listening to this frightening seance atmospheric tome in one sitting may be a stretch too far, yet taken in isolation, their Crowley chamber mood pieces stand out from much of the occult-electro crowd; of which they’re breaking away from.
Though reveling in their demonic allusions and disturbing provoked whipped-cracking gun-shot sound effects, Black Earth That Made Me is still pretty harmless stuff – more soiled Wiccan the Satanist -and betrays some oppulent moments of soaring beauty.