Raica - Dose

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  • Originally released as a tape in 2012, Dose marked a difficult transition for Chloe Harris, the Seattle-based producer and co-head of Further Records. Before she made experimental synth music as Raica, Harris toured the world as a progressive house DJ and close associate of John Digweed, an artist who couldn't be further removed from the music on Dose. Harris says the tape (now a record) was the sound of her trying to claw her way out of that world, or at least find a new one. Looking back on it now, Dose is a stunning document of vulnerability and volatile inspiration couched in seriously experimental, mind-bending music. On Dose, Harris interrogates empty space with eight different plans of attack. Though the album was made with just a few synthesizers and samplers, each new song sounds like it could have been made in a different studio altogether. What unites them is their use of tactile texture against stark backgrounds and cavernous chambers of reverb. The synths on "Satmor" collect from a splatter of liquid into squeaky high-pitched resonance and back again, dissolving the barrier between artificial and natural-sounding elements. "Skrt" plays with sandpapery white noise patches, and "Tiwie" takes the bulbous synths of dub techno and lets them snake through the empty air. Few of Harris's tracks have any discernible direction, but that's not a bad thing—it only adds to their emotional resonance. Though at first her tracks can be hard to digest, there's a yearning on Dose that brings them to life. Motifs repeat in irregular patterns, coming in delayed bursts or compressing and stretching out at random. It's a technique that's used to best effect on the wistful closer "Entridam," where long synth leads curl like calligraphy, but flatten and feather as if the pen was held down on the page too long. It's a simple track, but there are worlds of feeling hidden in the folds of those sustained tones—the sound itself becomes a vessel for expression and emotion. Though she's released more focussed records since Dose first came out, this reissue affirms the album as Harris's most beguiling and definitive work yet.
  • Tracklist
      01. Satmor 02. Tiwie 03. Slep_Non 04. Watr Dragn 05. Couchfire 06. Dron 07. Harchone 08. Skrt