release: Divine Names
year of release: 2010
label: Brave Mysteries
detailed info: discogs.com
First of all, a big cheer for young people dedicating themselves to uncompromising musical visions. Thankfully, you can find them here and there in a variety of genres, but I’m especially happy when I discover projects with such esoteric musical leanings as Kinit Her. This duo, consisting of Troy Schafer and Nathaniel Ritter shares with us an engaging mixture of raw drones, ritual chants and musical structures, and some steps into neofolk and song-based work.
On this tape, totalling a little under 30 minutes, a broad overview of this band’s style is presented. The extensive A-side “Gratitudes” opens with deep guitar drones and low chants, slowly building and morphing into a solemn piece with brass and strings, and ending in a minimal outro of high-pitched noises and guttural voices.
The other side of the tape contains three shorter tracks, each of which is more song-based than the soundscape that was “Gratitudes”. “Walled” is the longest, indulging in some fine dronework and eerie sounds before properly starting with a more neofolk-oriented song, without relinquishing the obscure sound backing of the start. The vocals are narrative and melodic, but still confirming the ritual character of the music. “The Prophet’s Pen Ablaze” is the shortest track, but a perfect compact reflection of this band’s quirky and original approach. In its own obscure way, it is even catchy and accessible, at least to those open to a bit of weirdness. “Walless”, then, tones down the energy a bit, forming a somewhat mournful outro of wailing strings and layered vocals.
Inspirations for Kinit Her can be traced in the direction of 80s industrial experimentation and the various post-industrial and neofolk styles that were to follow. However, like proper bearers of an esoteric tradition, they warp and twist the raw materials available into new forms suitable to their own vision. The expression of this vision is music suggesting an occult and highly personal spiritual language, but at the same time one that invites the listener to partake in the ritual. In terms of composition and intensity, I would find there is room for improvement in this music. What is most striking at the moment is the originality of vision and sound, more than the flow of the music itself.
That still means this is a fascinating release from an incredibly promising project. This particular tape is already sold out from the label, but one would do well to be on the lookout for this and other works by this duo across the net.
[To be re-issued in 2011; see comments below]
Reviewed by O.S.
A1 Gratitudes (14:30)
B1 Walled (6:15)
B2 The Prophet’s Pen Ablaze (2:52)
B3 Walless (4:05)