Release Date: Jun 24, 2016
Record label: Blackest Ever Black
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead are London-based duo Raime. The pair debuted under the name in summer 2010 with their self-titled EP, which, evidently, was the first 12” release for their spiritual label home Blackest Ever Black. The three-tracker, however, wasn't their first contribution to the label: just before it dropped, Andrews and Halstead put out a limited-edition CD-R mix titled You Can’t Hide Your Headcrack.
Like contemporaries Andy Stott and the Haxan Cloak, Raime prefer to explore the darker avenues of techno. Filtering industrial music's steely façade through dub's minimalism and electronic music's locked-in rhythms, the London, England duo have crafted eight tracks that are just as absorbing as they are unsettling on their sophomore LP, Tooth. Here, Raime have transformed the more bellicose elements of their sound (crashing drumbeats, harsh melodies) into something lighter and more nebulous, employing offbeat/off-beat repetition and pulsating beats that come off melodic and digestible.
In the three and a half years since the release of Raime's debut album, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, the duo and their label have come to represent a certain type of bleakness that's become common in electronic music in recent years. Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead have played a large part in Blackest Ever Black's identity. Their first album is a multi-faceted record of real quality, subtly suggesting a whole host of predecessors—from head-down dubstep to drone rock bands like Earth.
UK duo Raime thrive on creating uneasiness and even discomfort through music that could easily function as the score to a post-apocalyptic film. Thrilling as their debut Quarter Turns Over a Living Line was, it was also so barren at times and unfolded at such a pace that you could almost feel the music literally decaying around you. Tooth is a less suffocating experience, but it's no less disquieting.
Review Summary: don't bother, they're hereThree years have passed since we last heard from London duo Raime. Moving from 2012’s Quarter Turns Over a Living Line, Moin capitalised on the distortion which made their sound so characteristically ominous. Its rhythmic, industrial noise spoke of ever approaching violence but sturdy post-rock roots kept this violence human.
Ican recall exactly three times in recent memory in which music has truly, physiologically frightened me in public: blaring Sunn O)))’s Black One on headphones on a sunny, cloudless day, wading through a sweaty sea of college kids, paranoid as fuck that one of them would turn into some sort of day-walking vampire and bite my throat off; cranking Pharmakon’s Abandon just loud enough that its primal screams passed my hearing threshold as I sauntered through an empty, labyrinthine academic building after a final during my senior year of college; and, with meditative intent, heeding Raime’s anxious drones on Quarter Turns Over a Living Line as I reclined one evening in a courtyard outside of my building, serenity slowly fading away as sonic specters replaced birdcalls. My first listen of Tooth was muted by my expectation that it would haunt me. Quarter Turns felt like it was culled into being through some sort of dark ritual process; Tooth, noticeably stripped down and urgent by comparison, feels like that ritual process itself, like some kind of public, pre-hunt rite.
Whether you paid more attention to the 'jungliest' elements of their early releases or you fell for the deep melancholia of 2012's Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, Raime’s tracks always communicated a sense of desolation that made their take on club music as dark and menacing as it could get. To me, it conjured up images of urban decay and feelings of abandon, an association that Tooth makes even stronger with its newfound love for live instrumentation, space and repetition. On Tooth the London duo opt for a further minimalistic approach, privileging stark, almost clinical precision over drones and noise accents; stripped-to-the-bone, protracted guitar loops to unruly dynamics.
After the desolate wasteland that was Quarter Turns Over a Living Line, Blackest Ever Black are billing Raime’s Tooth as “the sound of resistance and counter-attack”. For sure, the London duo’s sophomore LP may be more tightly structured and purposeful in its post-dub experimentalism than its predecessor, which built an anarchic atmosphere of urban decay and “self-destruction” out of rootless strings, blackened ambience and jilted beats. However, there’s something decidedly non-resistant and non-counter-aggressive about a sequel whose creeping tracks revolve almost entirely around narrowly repeating figures, around quietly scratched guitars and steadily respiring synths that trace the same coiled circles again and again, afraid to break out of their squalid comfort zones and transcend the harsh world that threatens them from the inside and out.
Raime — Tooth (Blackest Ever Black)&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://blackesteverblack. bandcamp. com/album/tooth"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Tooth by RAIME&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;In many ways, Raime’s Quarter Turns over a Living Line epitomized the Blackest Ever Black aesthetic: it was as dark as a tunnel into hell, an album as a place for a new sepulchral incarnation of humanity, where dubstep rhythm meets Charon and the descent into the ultimate black hole.