RAIM – Paralow Universe (Balkan Recordings)


Maltese techno duo Keith Farrugia and Neil Hales first emerged under their RAIM alias back in 2014 with their debut ‘Acid Synthesis’ EP on Posthuman’s Balkan Recordings label, and three years on this download only EP ‘Paralow Universe’ finally sees RAIM back in action with four new tracks that marry moody analogue electronics with gleaming digital sound design. ‘Paralow Universe’ lures you slowly down into its intricately detailed depths as aluminium-light snares flutter against 808 kicks while modulated analogue synth tones stretch out into an oceanic wash of shifting layers beneath, the sense of brooding darkness magnified by the surging distorted synth riffs that shift to the forefront towards the track’s second half.

‘Substance Convoy Rescue’ glides with an ominous sense of robotic funk as shuffling 4/4 techno rhythms get intertwined with elastic analogue synth squelches and glittering gamecore electronics, the modulated tones peeking through like acidic tendrils as the hi-hats tighten up against against the thudding, dubbed out kickdrums. Elsewhere, ‘Ready’ introduces a more jacking off-step into its rhythms as a fuzzy vocal sample gives way to layers of staccato percussion and acid 303 squelches worm their way to the front of the mix, their pulsing flashes of colour adding a sense of gathering urgency to the eerie minor-key sequences that cycle beneath.

It’s ‘Stop And Modulate’ that offers up one of this EP’s most spectacular moments here though as dark Kraftwerkian synthesised voices get crushed and contorted against a lush backdrop of gliding electro rhythms and icy synth drones, the snapping breaker-friendly flurries of snares adding a sense of warm groove to the track’s frigid depths. While the analogue-driven electro / techno axis is a path well hewn by now, these tracks will particularly hit the spot for fans of the likes of the aforementioned Posthuman and Appleblim.


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