It’s taken a certain amount of time and delicacy to coax them into recording a mix for us, despite, or perhaps because of, their affiliation to Blackest Ever Black, a label independently operated by FACT’s Kiran Sande. They’re a shy, and moreover a selective, pair. To date, Raime have created two mixes for public consumption, but in both instances these have been released as limited edition CD-Rs on Blackest. Their first (which you can download here), entitled You Can’t Hide Your Headcrack, was issued shortly ahead of their debut 12″ offering, and established links between their own music and that of passive-aggressive industrial and goth artists from the late 70s and early 80s. Though they weren’t too proud to drop some familiar names – their beloved Cabaret Voltaire and Ike Yard, for example – Headcrack was first and foremost an act of serious diggers’ devotion, and it’s tracklist was constituted largely by the (today) lesser-known likes of German Shepherds and Metabolist.
A second Raime mix, Living In The Gaps We Cannot Jump, was released as part of a hand-made double-disc set, again released as a limited edition through Blackest Ever Black (the centrepiece of the set being a 5.1 surround sound DVD that documents an installation they created for this year’s Unsound Festival New York, The Three Chambers Of Our Entities). This selection too situated itself firmly in the cold war years, with contributions from Experiments With Ice, Pink Military, The Klinik, Shoc Corridor and Nagamatzu.
But there’s something else that exerts an influence on Raime equal to, perhaps even in excess of, that of anything from the post-punk era: jungle. Jungle, particularly that made in ’94-’95, when the music was as rough-hewn as it was progressive, is an essential part of Raime’s make-up, and it’s also the focus of their FACT mix. Upon first hearing Raime’s own records, you might doubt the links to jungle, but the more you immerse yourself in their slender catalogue, the more obvious the similarities become: the absolute primacy of rolling drums, the sub-bass pressure, the cerebralism and the brute-force, the dynamism and the dread. Hell, you could argue that Raime’s music is a vision of how jungle might have sounded if it had embraced goth’s thorny romanticism and early industrial’s queasy bio-mechanics.
We can but speculate; all we know for sure is that Raime know their onions, and that their blistering FACT mix aims straight for the heart of the ’93-’95 sound, with one stretch into ’96. From the disorienting drum choppage of Dilijna to the rudeboy tearjerking of D’Cruze’s ‘Nightvision’ mix, via the none-more-debonair roll of The Truper, this mix isn’t some art-school misappropriation of the past, it’s a lean, mean love-letter to a future that never quite came to pass – but may still yet.
1. Steve C and Monita – The Razors Edge – Skeleton Records 1994 2. DJ Buz – Slave – No U-Turn 1994 3. 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse – We Are The Future (Phantasy & Aphrodite Mix) – Tone Def 1994 4. Blame & Justice – Nightvision (D’Cruze Mix) – Moving Shadow 1994 5. Undercover Agent – Dubplate Circles – Juice 1996 6. Dillinja – Deadly Deep Subs Remix – Deadly Vinyl 1995 7. The Truper – Vol 1 Side B – Street Beats 1994 8. Doc Scott – It’s Yours – Metalheadz 1994 9. DJ Tamsin & The Monk – A Better Place (Baby Kane Remix) – White House Records 1994
Side A Hidden Agenda - On the Roof [Metalheadz] Alex Reece - B-Boy Flavour [Metalheadz] Skanna - Find Me [Skanna] Photek - The Rain [Metalheadz] Aquasky - Images [Moving Shadow] JMJ & Richie - Free La Funk [Moving Shadow] Aquarius & Tayla - Bringing Me Down [Good Looking] M.T.S. - Inspiration [Juice] Photek - Consciousness [Photek] Desired State - Goes Around [Ram] DJ Trace - Final Chapta (Rollers Mix) [Dee Jay] DJ Hype & Ganja Max - Rinse Out [Ganja] Splash - Babylon (DJ Trace Mix PT 2) [Dee Jay] DJ Zinc - So Damn Fresh [Ganja]
Side B Da Dogz - Non Stop [Prime Time Wax] Roni Size - Time Stretch (Origin Unknown remix) [V] Asylum - Steppin’ Hard [Metalheadz] Basic Movements - Bubble & Wine [Suburban Base] Desired State - Here & Now [Ram] Octave One - Technology  Photek - Complex [Photek] Phaze 1 - Natural [Timeless] Amazon II - Deep In The Jungle (DJ Rap remix) [Aphrodite] Roni Size - Phyzical (Vintage remix) [V] J Majik - Needle Point Majik [Metalheadz] Wax Doctor - The Step [Metalheadz] Dillinja - Heavenly Bass [Logic Productions]