- 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.
A1 If Anywhere Was Here He Would Know Where We Are
B1 This Foundry (Regis Version)