Kiran Sande has begun a record label called Blackest Ever Black. Its debut EP, by London-based group Raime, is due out later this month.
As its name suggests, Blackest Ever Black is an underground label with a sound as experimental as it is sinister. According to a press release, the imprint aims to "re-establish electronic music as a poetic, provocative and emotionally inquisitive force" by releasing music that's "art, as opposed to engineering." Raime's inaugural EP for the label fits this description perfectly, with foreboding atmospheres that call to mind artists like Mika Vaino or Horizontal Ground. To hear a track from the EP, along with a mix by Raime, head over to Blackest Ever Black's official blog.
Chatting via email earlier this week, Sande told us a bit more about the philosophy behind the new label.
How did you choose the name Blackest Ever Black?
I think the origins of the expression will already be known to many of your readers. As to why I decided to use it, well, look around you: we’re not exactly living in a golden age. Creating anything of real substance, particularly in music, is a more difficult and thankless task than ever. The label wasn’t founded in spite of this hostile climate, it was founded because of it - in less trivial times I wouldn't have needed to bother. The name is simply an acknowledgment of that fact, as well as a constant, carping reminder to myself to stay fucked-off and resolute.
How would you describe the overall sound of the label? What kind of music inspired the label?
The sound of the label is flexible, but its attitude fixed. Everyone involved has been immersed in dance music for years, but more meaningful inspiration at this stage is coming from the '79-'89 industrial, goth and synth underground. Fundamentally I'm just interested in music that dares to be about, or at least gesture towards, something other than its efficiently functioning self.
How did you find Raime? What made you want to release their work?
Chris Farrell, who runs the Idle Hands label out of Bristol, introduced me to Raime. As people, they have a rare self-possession and seriousness, and I took to them instantly. Everything in their tracks - the violence, the beauty, the ambiguity - is grievously earned. Most importantly for me, the music has to it that special quality of sadness and longing for which English seems to lack an adequate noun - the Germans call it sehnsucht, the Portuguese saudade. Or so I'm told.
What sort of thing can we expect from Blackest Ever Black in the future? Do you have any specific releases in the pipeline? Any more mixes?
The second Blackest 12-inch will be released in November. It features new music by Raime and a remix of their track "This Foundry" by Regis. I consider it to be among his very best work – not something I’d say lightly. In terms of mixes, a new selection from myself, Scripts For The Pageant, will be available to download later this month. Beyond that? The usual: romanticism vs pragmatism vs nihilism. Nothing short of a total war.
A2 This Foundry
B1 We Must Hunt Under The Wreckage Of Many Systems
Blackest Ever Black will release Raime EP on September 13th, 2010.