MUTEK.ES Previews: Interview with Raime
RAIME will perform on Thursday February 7th for A/Visions 1 at The Station, Estación Francia.
Beto Vidal - January 30, 2013
The rawness, the helplessness, fear, or, in short, the horror in some form, should not always be categorized from aversion. The London duo Raime have been transforming anxiety into something stunning and sublime. With a new LP and debut of their A/V show in Spain, Raime will visit us in February in Barcelona as part of the Micro_MUTEK festival [ES] to prove that even anguish can be beautiful.
Q: After three great EPs/12"s on the Blackest Ever Black label, finally we have in our hands your debut. Is your LP the continuum & culmination of the ideas that you want to show with your music?
R: Its always a continual process. You learn from each record you put out, how you could have conveyed an idea better, or how you could have explored things differently. Naturally it culminates from ideas in previous works, but its an ongoing development, there’s still more to be said.
Q: But on the other hand, ‘Quarter Turns Over A Living Line’ looks more experimental (less percussion oriented, for example), compared with the EP trilogy, right?
R: The LP format gave us a larger degree of freedom within our approach to writing. It allowed individual tracks more room to encapsulate a certain idea or sentiment without the need to overload, therefore giving those particular ideas more clarity. In doing so, this enabled us to give the album a narrative structure and contour to the work as a whole. The previous EP Hennail had a lot more percussion and the narrative created within each track is very much dictated by how rhythmic devices present elements to you. This can be somewhat limiting and we didnt want to be as cornered by this method when making the LP.
Q: Do you feel that your sound & style has been growing so fast since the first EP? If so, do you have the sensation that you have the control of everything that’s happening to Raime lately?
R: Musically we keep control, its all about control for us really and I guess thats the reason its takes us a long time to produce the finished music because we like to make sure nothing is out of place. However what happens after the music is presented to the outside world is totally beyond our control and we feel pretty lucky that this part of it has gone ok so far. When we finished the album, we weren't sure if anyone would want to listen to it, you get into your own little world with it and after a while you can’t tell what anyone else will think...
Q: How did you record the album? I mean, there are some classic instruments (like guitars) & some other industrial sounds that I’d love to know how you create/record them in the studio. What machines/software do you use?
R: We did lots of different recording sessions in the hope of capturing a variety of textures and sounds. Whether it be guitars, cello, drums or field recordings, we’re always seeking to push those sources until you start to get results which are much further removed from the point of departure. Afterwards you can then isolate those tiny inflections, incidental passages or weird harmonics. When recording you need to be focussed on the kind of things you want to achieve, but remain open enough to experimentation and allow unexpected things to arise. The post production process is all about choice selections from those sessions, and then combining / juxtaposing elements in an arrangement that creates a sense of place.
Q: It’s clear that your sound could be described as ‘Dark industrial’ and explores the coldest post-punk scene. What records do you like the most of that post-punk industrial age? What artists inspire you the most from that time?
R: Probably the two most inspiring and innovative groups from that time for us are Cabaret Voltaire and Ike Yard. They were both making music with a combination of electronic and traditional instruments in such a way that it always sounded like the perfect combination of both. Their attitude was exploratory and pretty avant garde but still rooted in rhythm and propulsion. Ike Yard especially had a woodenness and almost organicness to the electronics making something that was as immersive as it was aggressive. Cabaret Voltaire on the other hand were the masters of chaos and order in equal measure.
Q: By the way, you sound also look aligned with the political ethos & hard environment of the times we are living… I guess not intentionally, but really looks like the OST of the rotten times we have to see…
R: Well, we can't profess to have an overwhelming optimism for the forthcoming decades. It doesn't take much to be aware that the trajectory of humankind is one of unsustainability. Something has to come to a junction at some point......
Q: I've seen you perform in Barcelona at “Electronica en Abril” mini festival last April 2011, and I was amazed about your live set. How your live has been developed since almost two years ago? Do you feel that is more improved?
R: We really enjoyed that gig at Casa Encendida and that was the last show we did before we embarked on making the main body of the album. Since then we’ve really tried to push our live show onwards, not just through the production of the music but also by collaborating with film-makers ‘Dakus’ to create new visuals for our show. These were shot over 3 days and nights in an abandoned warehouse in Lisbon with contemporary dancer Romeu Runa. We then spent a great deal of time editing and refining the imagery to hopefully work in synergy with the music.
Q: Must be hard to convert your music into a live form… How do you prepare them?
R: We want to execute and deliver our shows in the right way and therefore that does limit some of the elements you can perform live. We will deconstruct our tracks and then reconstruct live. We cant generate a lot of our recorded sounds live but we can trigger them, rearrange them, re-appropriate them and fx them.
Q: Publishing in Blackest Ever Black your debut, feels like closing the circle you started inaugurating the first label release?
R: I don’t think we see it as a circle as we hope there will be alot more to come but it does feel like a point to remember. Neither ourselves or Kiran (Head of BEB) knew if we would get to this stage as artists or indeed a label but we feel incredibly pleased to get here together.