Green Room, Fort Lauderdale
July 6, 2012
Better than: Waiting for DMX to show up next door at Revolution
Brooklyn based "witch house" duo White Ring brought their crucible of darkness to Fort Lauderdale's Green Room on Friday night. The group's sound is one of effected and distant sounding vocals layered over beats that are chopped, screwed, played in reverse, and then dropped down another couple of BPMs to achieve a teeth-rattling wave of electro-evil that swept over the downtown club like the shadow of Satan himself.
Setting the aural candles for White Ring's impending ceremony were sets by DJs Strangeways, Grant James, Mikey R, and a performance by Deathface. The quality selections of classic goth and up-tempo electro that graced the tables prior to White Ring brought a few early denizens of darkness to the floor for some dancing, but, for the most part provided a solid soundtrack for crowd entrances and busy bartenders.
Obviously, we expected a dark electronic act from Brooklyn to lure out the sort of crowd that people watching wet-dreams are made of, and Friday's audience did not disappoint. Starting with a young man who donned a pillowed North Face jacket in bold-faced defiance of the Florida summer temperatures, and ending with a man who had on a latex mask fashioned with some sort of mandible thingy over his nose and a bit of black fence carefully wrapped around his torso, there were plenty of interestingly adorned and festooned individuals to distract one's eyes from the stage and the coed White Ring duo. So much so, that it would be remiss of us not to mention what was the absolute non-musical highlight of the evening: A chance encounter between the previously mentioned fence-wearing originator and a woman's purse.
The man behind the fence and latex made a point of drawing out his movements around the club, forcing himself to look something other than human when he moved. As he snaked about, he caught his fence on the chain shoulder strap of a purse, and the time it took for them to release the bond felt like an awkward eternity. Something about the way it happened felt like an accidental commentary on fence-man's psuedo-artistic posturing colliding with reality. After he unchained himself, I assume he walked over to the bar to brood more and think about how much he hates his parents.
White Ring took the stage to a decently packed club and released a truckload of bass from the sound system. The young woman that provided vocals over the ethereal sounds stood with her bleached blonde hair dangling over her face as she howled and gently coaxed incantations through a wall of reverb and delay. When viewed through the fog of cigarette smoke and smoke machine haze, she appeared to be every bit the ghostly apparition deserving of the music she was making. The male counterpart of the group spent his time on stage with a cigarette dangling from his lip, looking like every dude that has ever poured you a shot of espresso in Williamsburg, as he punched the keys of his Apple computer and paid an extreme level of concentration to programming the vibrations that escaped the subwoofers. He inspired the audience to sway loosely in front of the stage. The sound was vast, lumbering and three dimensional.
As the young lady's shouts echoed and drifted over the canyon of endless bass, the swaying gave way to some more lively dancing, and the vibe at Green Room picked up a bit. The club's simulated green fireflies bounced brightly off of all of the dark clothing in club, and played nicely with the assorted glowing and blinking electronic accessories that the more excitable members of the audience had brought along for the night. South Florida was treated to a rare performance by a group that has outlasted and evolved from what most would consider a flash-in-the-pan sub-genre of electronic music.
Personal Bias: Would rather listen to black metal.
Random Detail: The man in the North Face jacket spent the first hour he was in the club doing the robot or spinning in a circle.