Raime - Raime EP (Blackest Ever Black)
I picked this one up from the shop the other day, having seen the massive coverage afforded to the Raime / Regis collab, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Blackest Ever Black's further releases. The three tracks of asphyxiatingly heavy blackness on this EP pass between techno, drone, dubstep and electronica, without ever earthing themselves or committing to a style. Building a delay-heavy kickdrum pattern that never quite delivers the reassuring 4/4, Retread envelopes the beats in subtle synth swathes and washes, before a rich choral layer breaks through the murk, and the light starts to part the clouds. Again backed with rattling kickdrums, This Foundry lopes along at a disquieting 110bpm, recontextualising the grandiose voices of Retread as slow-attacking synth stabs and introducing a distorted sub-bass blast that growls away, deep down in the subconscious. Closing the EP is the apocalytically-titled We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems that again rolls along somewhere to the left of techno, never quite stable or solid, before the synths drown out the percussion and the darkness falls still again. Despite the slow tempo, there's heavy aspects of Shackleton about Raime, with a similar pallette of tribal-inflected percussion and disquitingly EQ-synths, and an equally dark attitude to songwriting, though there's also something for the Throbbing Gristle fans, the dub-heads, and those drawn to the hard-edged bleakness of Surgeon and Sandwell. Melting the best aspects of minimal, electronica, dub and drone into one coherent whole, Raime is one of the most interesting acts I've heard in a long time.