Raime is the London-based duo of Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead. They were responsible for the first two 12″ releases on Blackest Ever Black, back in the Autumn/Winter of 2010. But their first contribution to the label came even earlier, in the shape of their You Can’t Hide Your Headcrack mix, first released as a free, limited edition CD-R in Summer 2010. This idiosyncratic selection not only provided a context for their own work, but also proved influential, helping to stimulate wider, renewed interest in late ’70s and early ’80s iconoclasts like Ike Yard, Rema-Rema and German Shepherds.
The Raime EP, or simply EP, was released in September 2010 and announced the arrival of a serious talent, its three sample-based tracks quite unlike anything else around. The duo’s cavernous, technically outstanding but invariably emotive, expressionistic sound was a breath of fresh, if forbidding, air; so too were their very particular, unorthodox inspirations and reference-points (the result of years of obsessive crate-digging). A couple of months later came the tense, stark ‘If Anywhere was here he would know where we are’, backed with an expansive, career-best remix of ‘This Foundry’ by Regis. These 12″s quickly earned them a cult following, one which has grown significantly in subsequent years.
In 2011, Halstead and Andrews were commissioned by Unsound Festival New York to produce a 5.1 surround sound installation aligned with the festival’s “horror” theme; a recording of the work, entitled The Three Chambers Of Our Entities, was released as part of a limited edition set (together with a mix CD-R, Living In The Gaps We Cannot Jump). That summer, the two-track Hennail EP showcased the Raime sound at its most rhythmic and robust.
2012 saw the release of the duo’s debut album, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line. Moving away from the sample-based strategies that characterised their early work, Andrews and Halstead looked increasingly to live instrumentation for their first full-length work, mounting intensive recording sessions for percussion, guitar and strings before painstakingly piecing the album together at their home studio. The gothic and industrial signifiers in their music remained, but more submerged and oblique than ever – no more pronounced as influences than jungle’s percussive dynamism and doom metal’s oppressive weight, or aspects of techno, modern composition and dub. The 7-track album was released to considerable acclaim, and in its wake the duo toured extensively, presenting an audio-visual performance created in collaboration with Dakus Films.
Having “come out” as Moin, the mysterious artist behind a 2012 split 7″ with Pete Swanson on our Confessions sub-label, Halstead and Andrews delivered a three-track Moin EP on Blackest Ever Black proper in September 2013, capturing their own unique, rigorously processed take on post-hardcore guitar music. They are currently at work on what will be the second Raime long-player, due to be released on Blackest Ever Black in June 2016.