Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Raime - Tooth / Satoshi Takeishi – Dew Drops

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The Ragga Twins swore reggae owed them money but do Slint feel the same about Raime? 

No matter...except I wonder if all the guitar 'licks' (how Rock of me!) on Tooth are sampled or played; I've not read the truth anywhere. Still, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead have made a proper mood music album. That's one mood throughout, which is what most people do, I know. It's a good mood, not something to put you in a good mood, of course, but their trademark is to be sombre. Thinking about this guitar sound, someone must have played it. I'm being stupid. Or they're being cheeky. I don't know. I do know that the b-line belongs to Dead Heat. Repeat. Repetition is big for Raime. Repeat moods, repeat methodology, repeat riffs. Add things such as strings, clipped vocal yells and what sounds like a bird squawking. Attention to detail, that's the thing, details amid the repetition. Unless you find them, the whole thing starts to sound samey to the point where I can hardly differentiate between what's ended and what's begun. I am, it must be said, the only person in the world who does not shower praise upon Tooth, it seems. Not that I think it's bad and it is above mediocre, but...

Dew Drops cover art

Dew Drops by Satoshi Takeishi offers great detail too, this time in the playing. It's OK to be all modern in repeat mode-plus-bass but this is something else. It's old-fashioned musicianship! Professional musicianship which, as you know, can (frequently does) result in muso-induced boredom. It does for me anyway because the only examples of great playing I listen to are collectively known as Jazz, but not the kind made by sterile perfectionists. Satoshi Takeishi plays Jazz, but not here. Instead, he plays broken Autoharp with contact mic, Kanjira, Slit Drum, Shells and Bells, Waterphone but also Computer and iPad along with Handheld Cassette recorder/player, all of which are put to excellent use - the chimes, pitter-patter of percussion, subtle electronics all blended for a proper sound experience. With delicacy and strength, a perfect awareness of space, acoustics, the sonic reverberations of his kit and a true feeling of what constitutes dynamics, Takeishi's Dew Drops is a masterclass in electro-percussive elegance.

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