Raime RaimeRaime EP
BLACKEST EVER BLACK (BLACKEST001, 12” + digital)
There are records that speak to you even before you put the needle in the groove. In the case of this debut by Raime –the British duo whose identity we don’t know for now, although nobody doubts their potential– the sleeve announces the sub-zero and sparsely lit contents. It could be an old record of the Sähkö label, an old vinyl by Pan Sonic, an icy cold dub, mechanic, without soul nor passion, and in some way “Raime EP” is just that, but in a dubstep way: as if Shackleton changed the promised land of the Middle East for some kind of Siberian steppe, Raime explore the most calculating, complex and phantasmagoric dimension of dubstep. Maybe this is how Skull Disco should have developed, had the label remained active (afterwards, we saw Shackleton turn towards techno and Appleblim towards house), entering even more impenetrable depths, losing itself in ever more puzzling labyrinths (Mordent Music have taken over there), and that’s where Raime take us, outstanding disciples that they are, with pieces like “This Foundry” –which only lacks those phantasmal voices, like a Gregorian choir of ghosts, to reach something new: it’s not only dubstep, it’s an unseen and impossible cross between dubstep and witch house– and the opening track, “Retreat”. On the B-side the same dynamic continues, the connection with Shackleton becomes even clearer, thanks to the rhythmic dynamic of “We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems”, but also because of something else: if the record sleeve already speaks, the label on the record inside does so as well, with a hieratic effigy in black and white that reminds us that this is to dubstep what the British Murder Boys were to years ago: a clinical reformulation, dehumanised, which revises the texture of the sound from top to bottom, in order to allow an evolution as rejuvenating as it is progressive. It’s not for nothing that it’s said Raime get many of their sounds from sampling old industrial records from the 80’s. At the end, I have fallen in love again with the Dark Side.