utorak, 20. studenoga 2012.

Raime - Quarter Turns Over A Living Line

Izvrstan okultistički ambijentalni dub: sablasti u psihodeličnoj pustinji mozga.
Joe Andrews i Tom Halstead spustili su se do dna oceana i izronili sprešani koncert Buriala i Demdike Starea.

Streaming (preview)

The precious bloodline of British dread music circulates through Raime's riveting debut album. Two years since their eponymous 12" - Blackest Ever Black's first release - sounded a mandate-like synthesis of late '70s industrial gloom, palsied techno and burned-out breakbeats with a gothic elan, they've come to epitomise the label's aesthetic whilst remaining its most elusive, enigmatic operators, flitting from surround sound installations to chastening mixtapes and now this monolithic LP. In that time, their ambitions have remained steadfast yet progressed in parallel with BEB's: as the roster grew to incorporate Regis, Cut Hands, Young Hunting, Black Rain, Vatican Shadow and Pete Swanson, they've stealthily revealed scarred instrumental flesh like some kind of sickening, self-abusing striptease. When we first heard them it was what we always wanted dubstep to become (before it predictably lapsed into bad hands), but with 'Quarter Turns Over A Living Line' they're so far beyond that, carving out something as close to doom metal as dub, divining wrinkles in space-time between the helical torques of post-punk and jungle. At its entry point 'Passing Over Trail', Ambarchi-esque sub-tonal quakes instil an eschatological atmosphere which remains unbroken 'til close, luring curious souls through the tantric, versioned vortex of 'The Last Foundry' and the funereal procession of 'Soil And Colts' to the queasy sensuality and quasi-step dynamics of 'Exist In The Repeat Of Practice' at its watershed apex. From here the descent takes a new course with quite possibly our favourite Raime track to date, 'The Walker In Blast And Bottle'; hanging plunging bass guitar strikes and demonic, ultra-wide wails from a rusty cowbell hook which scrapes its way up the track's spine. The role of power is then promptly switched to haptic, whiskey-fingered guitar, flaying a petrifying desert doom refrain against hob-nailed wooden percussion to leave us in a puddle of our own piss before 'The Dimming Of Road And Rights' resolves to eat its own tail, poised at the crossroads of keening, Earth-like strings, dawn-seeping pads and prison bar percussion. It's practically one of the greatest movies you've ever heard, and articulated with a sense of gnostic responsibility and obligation implying that basically everyone else needs to up their game, seriously, before its all too late. - boomkat

Not one for the office first thing on a Monday maybe - bit bleak and oppressive - but I pinched this disc in order to unpick its dark enigmatic stitches in a more appropriate setting such as my dingy little house. The debut Raime EP took a while to appreciate, it was third single 'Hennail' that erm....nailed it; I realised then that they rely on atmosphere, texture and space more than rhythm or beats. That they've seemingly followed Lancashire's Demdike Stare and fellow Londoner The Haxan Cloak down the pitch-black tech-noir tow-paths leading to the darkside of our minds is something particularly worth noting. Now there's a powerful triple-pronged assault on your senses for these heavy times, eh?
Raime are possibly the most austere and terrifying of the three. This seven track set begins with the muffled loop what could be an assault helicopter searching to destroy a terrified enemy survivor hiding in a cellar overlaid with eerie string drones, whooshing controlled noise explosions and occasional nightmarish scree. It's kinda Godspeed apocalyptic...yeah, heavy shit. 'The Last Foundry' displays parallels with soul-mates Demdike. It's a foreboding chamber-dub thing with a wicked murky flicker and ominous walls of dungeon-dwelling sonics.
The stalking slasher-film theatrics of 'Soil & Colts' also impress greatly. This track employs a sinister echoing patter for a "beat" and layers over this the now familiar creeping acoustics of dread to create another mini-masterpiece of suspense. I'll leave the remainder for you lot to get your teeth into. These two guys truly make lost-soundtrack music for the most unnerving of yet-to-be imagined excursions in celluloid. For some this music may be a little joyless and sinister, for me its an absolute joy. There's always pure beauty to be found in the darkness and this album is bloody ravishing. - Norman Records

Blackest Ever Black is a rather silly name for a record label, but Raime — the London duo of Tom Halstead and Joe Andrews — have done the imprint justice with a series of 12”s that blend smog-choked industrial clatter with cavernous echo and slasher film ambience. It’s a horror soundtrack for a wrong turn through the depths of urban decay in post-rave Britain. And one that has built considerable anticipation for the group’s next move.
With Quarter Turns Over a Living Line, the boys expand their vision to an album-length format. Allowed the ability to spread out, they do so in a way both wire-wound and further frayed. If Dylan Carlson’s Earth have become ambassador of rusted Americana via their haunted desert psychedelia, Raime provides a U.K. counterpart. Taking their inspiration from the rainiest corners of London, and the industrial and post-punk music produced there, the duo land on a doom-dub sound darker than anything else pouring forth from contemporary speakers.
The album features an added emphasis on live instrumentation compared to the earlier singles. Yet, the occasionally recognizable guitar licks add little human touch to the proceedings. Halstead and Andrews have spoken in interviews of how they recorded long instrumental pieces, then returned to the tapes to pluck the most damaged, unique elements. As such, on “Your Cast Will Tire,” the electric guitar plays not notes but string-grinding percussion, leaving just the metal-on-metal sound of frets scraping away.
“Soil and Colts,” released as a pre-album preview via SoundCloud, features monolithic clomps, between which are suspended wisps of sagging chords. Album-ending “The Dimming of Road and Rights” nearly sounds like a club banger slowed to a primal crawl — the soundtrack for an after hours joint where patrons dance in an opiated Audrey Horne-like sway.
Q - Ethan Covey
Picture of Raime

“Holloway even succeeds in scratching, stabbing and ultimately kicking a hole in the wall, only to discover another windowless room with a doorway leading to another hallway spawning yet another endless series of empty rooms and passageways, all with walls potentially hiding and thus hinting at a possible exterior though inevitably winding up as just another border to another interior.”
– Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
The claustrophobic scenarios Danielewski evokes in his debut novel House of Leaves are primary, meddling components to the hijacked narrative that nonchalantly switches between a documented transcript of characters exploring the hermetical bowels of a dwelling, the rambling footnotes of a paranoid hoodlum, and scattered clippings of hyperglyphic, multidimensional text strewn across the book’s foreboding pages. It’s a frenzied read that indulges neurotic interplay amid the reader, the writer, and the crackpot personalities that are brought to life within. The passages by which Holloway and his team become so entranced comprise a dank labyrinth, ashen and lightless, abound with a delirious sublime that is ultimately paralleled by the intrusive, forceful soundscapes encrusted on Blackest Ever Black’s latest, Raime’s Quarter Turns Over A Living Line.
With an inspirational backdrop conjured from early goth and synth industrial music and a condescending approach to those who might not be as acquainted with the rehashed screenshots and YouTube content selected to carve the label’s desired online aesthetic, Kiren Sande birthed Blackest Ever Black on the side of his gig at FACT. First to be unleashed was the 2010 Raime EP, a three-track record that saw Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead adhering to sounds relatively distant from the jungle and trip-hop persuasions of their past, where vocal samples were propelled amid tightly paced beats and behind deliciously gloomy layers of reverberation. The release spliced a brooding, hallowed benchmark for both the label’s web presence and the artistic roster destined to assemble in grounding one of the most compelling outposts of electronic music on the web.
Before the EP’s release, however, Raime concocted the first in a series of compilations for Blackest Ever Black; You Can’t Hide Your Headcrack could now be construed as an illuminating manifesto for the label’s direction, an oblique map or set of instructions that would soon thrust listeners alongside Holloway in his petrifying descent into darkness. The tracklist is all but compromising in its flaunting of industrial post-punk through Cabaret Voltaire, a double drop of Konstruktivits, and a dark-wave Psyche number, which bleeds across vinyl surface crackle to create a sound that ultimately sets the ball rolling for recent mixes adhering to similar themes by Sande himself as well as Tropic of Cancer and Before My Eyes, a series of vastly popular collaborative DJ sessions across London that provide a public platform for choice cuts spun by Demdike Stare and others from the BEB roster. Those highly concrete catalogs are symbolic of a fetishization that encompasses both online presence and the sonic models embellished by artists producing for the bill — the blackened tribal percussion of Cut Hands, the pneumatic techno of Regis, the militaristic onslaught of Vatican Shadow — each act harboring their own styles and patterns yet all of them unified by fostering particularly somber dispositions that linger throughout the course of everything that trickles from the label, from Oliver Smith’s convoluted layouts to Sande’s precise tinkering.
Raime is at the very core of that bleak and mesmerizing setting. As self-professed record collectors bent on gloomy industrial music, drone, and crawling metal, they have repackaged a musical framework wherein they reign wholly unchallenged, pulling from an eclectic body of influences and absurd aspirations to devise a sound that doesn’t quite cut into a specific genre, but that continues to point towards dimly-lit avenues. Their previous efforts, mixtapes, and compilations contain a peculiar degree of violence that purports to puzzling aural states of continued expectancy and fear, stylings that are amplified tenfold on the duo’s debut. What they have achieved here is not so much an addition to the aesthetic they helped design, but a broadening of musical depth and reach that fashions an all-encompassing approach.
Whereas muffled kick drum dirge and creepy synth background noise were inherent focal points on previous output, the emphasis on Quarter Turns Over A Living Line embroils atmospheric tampering created through live instrumentation, before the results are cross-pollinated with percussion patterns as opposed to pitch-shifted sampling. Live sessions involving guitar, cello, and percussion are brought to the fore of the recording, where they undergo vibrant dissections that account for their intricately scattered presence throughout each one of these breathtaking pieces. In so doing, the essence of the act is torn asunder and utterly reconfigured while aesthetic models remain firmly in tact through the elaborate incarnations they assume here — the tangled strings on “Passed Over Trail” are magnified, not devoured, by the whopping, visceral chasms of bass that writhe incessantly around the opening number.
The album pitches space as a centrally defining characteristic, which is so sensationally colossal it feels as though the house Danielewski spent 10 years of his life depicting has taken on utterly staggering sonic forms. “The Last Foundry” is located somewhere in the basement, a twisting sub-labyrinth where deep-rooted rattling scrapes over bewildering bass lines that resonate claustrophobia. It’s a paradoxical feat when taking the dimensions of each score into account, for despite the capacious feel of Quarter Turns, the latitudes one is given to move through are exceptionally cramped. There is very little room to maneuver here; instead, ease is delicately managed through losing one’s self in the folds of cello reverberation on “Your Cast Will Tire” or the enervated cowbell loop of “The Walker in Blast and Bottle,” both of which are impossible to resist, despite the appalling holler forged on the latter: these are intoxicating spirals of sound that etch insuppressible kinetic dilemmas of intrigue and awe into their dumbfounded listeners.
Blackest Ever Black is not simply about creating an image or imposing a hierarchical preponderance over its audience. Raime is at the forefront of a project concerned with exemplifying an appreciation for the musical ancestry they have inherited, and their determination to connect the dots through re-imagining a specific set of aesthetics is unparalleled. The resulting album is a suffocating tribute to both realizing that ambitious potential and exposing command over it. When Holloway descended into the depths of that house in Ash Tree Lane, his intent was laden with curiosity, a desire to uncover the truth through exposing cavernous paths and halls for what they truly might be. Quarter Turns embodies a shadowed and daunting environment with such an abundance of beauty that it bears contrast rather than resemblance to that damning abode, for the former remains an uncontrollably agreeable environment, despite its grim and unnerving allure. - Birkut


Raime EP


 Massively tipped debut from this new project and label; Raime, and Blackest Ever Black Recordings. The UK based duo have forged one of the finest contributions to the darkened post-dubstep canon we've yet heard, distilling the essence of Shackleton's most maudlin moments with labyrinthine reverbs and salt-cured percussion over three tracks allegedly built from arcane industrial and post-punk samples. This 12" is already causing much consternation in the blogosphere; with Altered Zones, Simon Reynolds' Blissblog and Fact Magazine all singing its praises. 'Retread' initiates the session with an unnerving arrangement of suspended, ceremonial drums and an immensely affective choral drone, deployed with enough subtlety and atmosphere to really send shivers down the spine. 'This Foundry' follows, uncannily recalling the parallel dimensions of Balam Acab in its dragging Quasimodo flow and and vastly spacious sound design. 'We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems' puts the final, frozen finish to the EP with a still, centred rhythm seemingly hung from flesh hooks in the ceiling while bowel shuddering subs disturb the flagstones below, shadowy reverbs skittering off cold, concrete surfaces. We've heard about a very special remix package forthcoming, but for now you'll have to flay yourself to this every evening. Outstanding. - boomat

 "If Anywhere Was Here He Would Know Where We Are" (single)

Traversing somewhat similar territory to Demdike Stare's occult ambient dub, the shadowy UK duo Raime recently debuted on new label Blackest Ever Black with a three-track EP that split the difference between minimalist techno, chamber ambient and the 4AD and Factory labels ca. 1982. While the particulars may differ, Raime's charcoal-rubbed vibe draws upon the quieter, more ambiguous moments of forgotten merchants of gloom like Rema Rema or Crispy Ambulance, updating it with everything we've learned from digital instruments.
"If Anywhere Was Here He Would Know Where We Are" picks up where the last record left off. If anything, it's a heavier, more driving example of Raime's work, with dubbed-out percussion and metallic drones reminiscent of Shackleton or the Moritz von Oswald Trio. This is not dance music, at least not as conventionally rendered: there's no 4/4 kick, no handclap; it creeps instead of bouncing. But it still feels like techno, just sliced open and turned inside out; it's ambient with pulse, with teeth, like an attempt to remake one of Donato Dozzy's more ruminative tracks with only samples and effects units.
On the B-side, Regis remixes "This Foundry," a flicker of strings, grumbling electronics and accidental rhythms from the first EP. His version is perhaps ten beats per minute faster; it's more obviously techno in spirit, although, crucially, it never resorts to the obvious kick/hi-hat/clap/snare patterns, rendering its boom-tick 4/4 pulse with unusually fluid grace. What's most remarkable is how radically different the remix feels; it's only when you listen back to the original that you realize how many of its elements are preserved in Regis' rework. Simply by switching up the pulse, he's uncovered something that lurked inside Raime's track the whole time. If a remix can be about anything, this one's about the very concept of interpretation, of channeling ideas and giving them flesh. It's hard to imagine an approach better suited to this project. - www.residentadvisor.net/

 After their incredible dystopian debut crept out of a sewer somewhere, Raime drop the 2nd Blackest Ever Black release, backed with an exceptional Regis remix. 'If Anywhere Was Here He Would Know Where We Are' is another side of hugely evocative dread minimalism, all suggestive tones and ghoulish rhythms writhing somewhere between Dubstep and ritualistic industrial zones. If anything this track offers less melody and even fewer stylistic signposts, while equally creating a greater space for the arcane mind to inhabit. In a stroke of A&R genius, the label has also secured one of Regis' finest remixes of recent years o'er on the flip - and coming from some of his biggest fans, we don't say that lightly. Versioning 'This Foundry' from the 1st 12", Regis dowses for the darkest Techno substance, wading chest deep in dank, fetid and ethereal ambience while propelled by a current of subs-driven steppers techno drums more akin to Shackleton than anything you've heard from him before. Darkside b'stards, your time! - boomkat


Intricate Shadows: An Interview With Raime
Joseph Burnett

Across a string of 12"s and now an album, London duo Raime have stretched industrial, dub and doom across spiraling, jungle influenced rhythms. They meet with Joseph Burnett to discuss intricate working processes and darkness in creativity

Raime are a London-based electronic duo who have painstakingly built up a reputation for distilling uniquely bleak and oppressive post-dub music that seems to perfectly reflect the gritty atmospheres of urban life, as well as the despondent and cynical political climate of our times. Live, their repetitive, mesmerising beats are allied to gloomy, haunted synth lines and unexpected textures, often to a backdrop of uneasy, abstract vocals. It's dark music, sure, but you can dance to it (albeit very slowly), making Raime the most interesting and successful fusion of industrial ethos and club culture since Burial first appeared on the dubstep scene.
After three EPs/12"s on the Blackest Ever Black label, this month sees the release of their first full-length album, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, which has already received emphatic reviews. It's a slower-burning and more spacious listen than their earlier EPs, and finds them incorporating a greater amount of live instrumentation into their working process than ever before.
In the wake of Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead's appearance at Ether on London's Southbank, and before they jetted off to Krakow for Unsound, the Quietus caught up with them at Andrews' flat to discuss the album, performing live and how they create their singular music.
I was surprised you didn't actually perform at the Blackest Ever Black showcase [at Corsica Studios, 13th of October]. How come? Did you stay to the end, though?
Joe Andrews: No. We had a show at the Southbank, and had a really long day. I think I kept on until 4am. [to Tom] How about you?
Tom Halstead: About 5, I think. I lasted until just before Source Direct [laughs].
I don't actually remember Source Direct! It seems like quite a tight-knit circle of bands around Blackest Ever Black...
JA: It's interesting because it's become a tight-knit circle, mainly because of Blackest, obviously - there's a focal point which is Blackest, but actually, since our beginnings, we've never had a way for people to contact us. The Facebook that's up is not ours, someone did it for us. So every contact there's ever been, apart from live stuff, has always been through Kiran [Sande, head of BEB]. To begin with, it was just us, and Kiran putting out our record, and in the communications, others would be cc'ed, like Karl [O'Connor, aka Regis]. Blackest has just become the hub, and over time we just met all these amazing artists, man.
TH: And doing live shows...
JA: It's amazing to think that two years ago no-one could have expected this.
I've seen you perform three or four times, so was disappointed not to see you on Saturday. Do you enjoy performing live?
JA: Yeah, it's bloody great, but there are times when you don't enjoy it so much. It's the other level, I think, but hopefully the records work on both levels.
Do you find it hard to adapt your music to a live setting?
TH: Recently we've recorded a lot more live instrumentation, and that's really helped in terms of how it works when we play if live. Our early stuff was a lot more sample-based and now we've moved towards live instrumentation.
JA: Live, it's always been a sort of mix of live editing and live structuring, loops, etc. You're not making a drum pattern live, you're playing a loop. We love it, and for the last show we did we had friends make a video especially for us to use. They got in touch with quite a famous modern dancer, who's got a quite extraordinary body, and went to a disused warehouse in Portugal to film for three days and night. They created this fucking bonkers visual element, and now it really feels like the two are working together. We're really aesthetically led anyway, and now it feels like a real show, rather than just a couple of dudes behind laptops.
How did you come to start making music together and to found Raime?
TH: We've known each other for a long time, since we were teens, and had been making music independently. It wasn't until four or five years ago that we realised we had kind of shared visions and that actually we wanted to get closer to a voice and to express ourselves through music. And it was five years ago that we started to join the dots from UK industrial stuff and contemporary things...
JA: We'd shared records with each other ever since we first met, and I think that exchange always gives you a level of trust, man. You obviously have your own things that you're into, and sometimes you part, for a year or whatever but we always come back to one another. There's always been a sort of mutual respect for one another, musically, so you join a few dots, as he said, and you start to get a great deal of inspiration. Also, there's a level of desire about what you want to hear and see happen in music. We're obsessive record collectors, and so there's a huge amount of time when you're a fan, where people are creating and you're consuming. And a lot of that time you're waiting for someone to make the next thing, and I think there came a point when were like, "Fuck man, I'm not quite hearing what I want to hear", or "That's incredible - maybe that vibe or acoustic idea has been lost. Why don't we feel confident enough to join some dots?" Which is such a terrific feeling.
<.b>Your album was preceded by, I think, three 12"s and several mixes and mix tapes. How do you feel you've evolved from the first release up until now?
JA: I think we've evolved quite a lot, but stylistically I don't necessarily think we have. We've just refined it... Obviously, the first EP was kind of a stab at doing something and then as you go through you're trying to hone it, and I think that's what we've done.
TH: You're trying to get your idea across more clearly.
JA: Yes, just communicate better! You have got something to communicate, so you're literally trying to say it as succinctly as possible. With us, we've got quite a few reference points that are dear to us, but at the same time we have this intention not to just ape something. It's almost like a Rubik's cube attitude where we piece it all together. In terms of understanding what you want out of something, we have had times where that Rubik's cube has lasted for months and months! [laughs] The record was more fluid because, hopefully, we were a bit more in control.
That ties into my next question - do you see Quarter Turns Over A Living Line as a culmination of all those previous records, and that you've been building up to this point?
TH: I think it gave us a bit more freedom to open up a bit more. The previous record, Hennail, was a lot more percussion-driven, a lot more clenched. We felt with this, there's less percussion, more space and more tracks to get different sentiments across. When you're putting out two tracks, you're trying to say a lot in those two pieces of work.
JA: We tried to squeeze everything in there! You feel like you've got something to say, and you haven't said it all. With an album, we could plot it, and it was such a great freedom. We thought it'd be the opposite, actually, we always thought we'd do 12"s; I don't know why it took us so long to work it out [laughs]. We realised we could develop a coherent piece of work. It was never meant to be a collection of tracks, it was always meant to be a piece of work, you know what I mean? I don't know if it's achieved that, but having that idea in it made the creative process a lot more interesting.
As you say, Hennail and other previous releases were very beat-driven, but the album features more atmospheric and experimental tracks. Was there a conscious effort to push the boundaries of your sound?
JA: Absolutely. We grew up with Detroit techno, jungle, all the sort of dance-based musics, so that's really part of us, and we'll always have rhythm in there somewhere, but actually, in the last five to ten years, we've been opening out into drone, doom metal, noise, early industrial, more experimental stuff, and that's become just as integral, and we wanted to include those influences. The way that we learn about music is by listening to that. And we wanted to have a go at that, to see if we could do it.
TH: We didn't want to be restricted. Hennail was difficult, in that sense. And we didn't want to get caught in that snare.
JA: Percussion in the way we use it is sort of in a dance music format, and because we've grown up with that music, you're pre-programmed to understand those structures in a 4/4 structure. When you've got a beat going, your brain is already waiting for that snare or hi-hat to come in, and you know when that's going to happen. One of the points for us was to try and change the listeners' knowledge of when that's going to happen, so they feel a little lost in it, but without losing the security that that structure gives you.
TH: That's the hardest part, finding the balance between being contrary to how you expect rhythmic things to work, and actually making a coherent work.
JA: Yeah, and that balance and trade off is one of the things that interests us. Security and non-security.
Your music has often been lumped in with ambient dub or dubstep, but that seems a tad reductive. Would you agree?
JA: I don't ever want to say to any journalist, or anyone, that they can't call it what they like, because I've been doing the very same thing, as a fan and a record collector, and that's the condition in which you work. Those genres are certainly part of our musical heritage, but I'd hope they weren't the only parts. I'm glad you feel that they aren't the whole picture.
Well, I think that when you guys first emerged, dubstep was pretty much on everyone's lips, so it was an easy connection to make, but to my mind you always seemed closer to industrial music and jungle, as you've mentioned.
JA: It's difficult, because dubstep has now become a little bit passe as a term and if you go back to the beginnings, to those iconic labels like DMZ, the music was absolutely incredible. We'd never say that it wasn't an important part of electronic music, it's just that at this moment in time, it feels almost like a negative thing.
TH: It's become so branched out that it's become a blanket term, so it's not really pinning anything down.
JA: Our first influence was probably Mo'Wax, you know, DJ Shadow and trip-hop. When I was 15, I bought my first Mo'Wax record and was absolutely sold on it, man. It was just the coolest fucking thing I'd ever heard. And then we've just gone through everything: Detroit techno, jungle, house music... And then there's the flip side, which is all the sort of avant-garde, industrial and doom stuff.
TH: Those things kind of came a bit later for us.
JA: I think we're just hungry, and we get obsessed. Record collecting is still a massive part of our lives.
How did you go about creating and recording the tracks on Quarter Turns Over A Living Line?
TH: We did a lot of recordings, by ourselves and with other musicians. We did recordings with cellists, drummers, some guitar stuff. There's quite a lot guitar on the album, actually, but then you go through it with a fine-toothed comb to pick out those interesting inflections or textures and start constructing them. We get a big archive of things that excite us and start putting things together to see if there's synergy between the sounds or interesting juxtapositions. Track by track, we begin with the material we each have and work on sketches before bringing them to the table and looking at whether we can work them up. It's been a healthy way of working.
JA: For example, Tom will put a guitar through some effects, make half an hour's worth of sound and then we go through it and pick out bits. A nice sound can be patched to a drum patterns and what's exciting is you get certain points or textures that match. There's an element of chance in that match, and as soon as we've got it, we'll throttle the hell out of it!
It's sounds very intricate...
JA: It takes hours [laughs]. It's an amazing process to do with someone else. You've always got someone to discuss it with. The other person kind of limits you.
TH: It's really important to have that discourse, because it's really hard to have it with yourself.
JA: There's a core of what we're doing that we both know we're trying to reach. There's an absolute specific idea. And you've got the reassurance that the other person shares that idea.
Going back to Blackest Ever Black, the label is noted for its somewhat bleak aesthetic, which runs through their artwork and the music of most of their acts. Do you have a particularly gloomy outlook on life? Could you say Quarter Turns Over A Living Line is a reflection of these somewhat depressing socio-political times?
JA: Um, I'd never describe myself as chirpy [laughs]. I definitely can take things quite seriously...
TH: This is a difficult question...
JA: A loaded gun! We are definitely pretty serious when it comes to music and the sentiments within that music. But everybody has a laugh sometimes, it's not like we go around in a continual state of depression. But we're pretty serious. I think there's a natural instinct to hone in on the darkest elements of life when you're being creative.

RAIME's Dark Electro

An esoteric, refined and cerebral sound that is culled from a life-long obsession with electronic music informs this industry tipped duo

William Oliver

Pulling together diverse references including early 80s industrial and goth acts like AC Marias, Konstruktivsts, German Shepherds and Throbbing Gristle, through to Detroit techno and dubstep, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead - aka RAIME - are garnering heavyweight insider interest. Their first EP, released in September, was strongly pushed by Simon Reynolds, author of the hugely influential biography of Post-punk, 'Rip It Up and Start Again', profiled by The Big Pink's Milo Cordell in the NME and caused one of UK techno's founding fathers, Karl O'Connor (Regis), to remix one of their tracks.
With a live set secured for the brave and intellectually curated Unsound electronic music festival in Krakow, Poland, and a subsequent supporting set for Eyeless in Gaza, off the back of the first three track release, and the second EP appearing as a best selling single of the week on Boomkat, it looks like the future of electronic music is in their dark and foreboding hands.
Dazed Digital: The RAIME sound is very considered, where does that come from?Joe Andrews: From how long we have been obsessed by music. I think we just take music very seriously. Artistically it comes from always being attracted to the serious and the austere, rather than the frivolous and, I guess, fun. Psychologically you can read into that what you want.
DD: What are the references behind RAIME, musically?Joe Andrews: We have both grown up listening to techno, British urban music, British and European electronic music and American dance music. Over the last 5 to 10 years we have been into more avant-garde stuff, a lot of industrial and goth, made from 1979 to 1986.
DD: A lot of that early industrial was very much about live performance, and what you are doing is all studio based. Are you producing it to be heard at home or on headphones, or do you see it as becoming to a performance based experience?Tom Halstead: Both. A lot of it is quite physical and I think it really works in a venue but at the same time if you have got it on headphones I think it can have a similar visceral effect.
Joe Andrews: That's definitely a key to what we are trying to do. To create something that can not only be a challenging live experience but can also provide a narrative.
DD: As well as being considered about your references musically your artwork is also very  researched and thought out.Joe Andrews: The artwork has definitely been thought about and pained over as much as the music itself. It is, almost predictably, based on modernist European and German expressionist work. I guess we just found that it chimes in with our, again probably pretty predictable (laughs), aesthetic. A slightly austere, considered and serious one.
DD: You have both been obsessed with music for a long time. Why has it taken you this long to produce something and put it out?Tom Halstead: I think we are constantly learning but now we feel like we have digested enough to put something together. I guess it's the time it has taken to get it right, for now. It's taken quite a while!
Joe Andrews: I also think it's the first time we have felt confident that we have something unique to say. Even though some of what we were doing before was alright, none of it ever really felt like what we were saying actually referenced who we were. It wasn't until RAIME that it felt like we were using influences that were natural to us, within a middle class European background.
DD: A lot of what you have talked about is all pretty niche. Do you appreciate music that's a bit more commercial?Tom Halstead: Yeah definitely, some of it. I do think things have become really flattened though and I don't really appreciate the level of compression in everything. MP3s are a flat wall and there is no real dynamic. For me dynamic is essential.
DD: What pop do you listen to?Joe Andrews: I listen to a lot of of commercial R&B and hip hop. I love Rihanna's voice and the hooks on her records, for instance. I don't actually think anyone is making really good pop records, in totality, at the moment though. I'm into a verse or I'm into a melody. I don't know if any of that influences RAIME though. I have an understanding of why a hook works that comes from years of listening to that stuff, but I feel like I try to keep them apart as much as I can.
DD: Do you think it's actually possible to do that?
Joe Andrews
: Yeah I do. I think it's brilliant. I love a bit of duality.

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