AD 93 • 2021

Under the name Raime, Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead were key contributors to the aesthetic of the label Blackest Ever Black, which was discontinued in 2019, with a sound that clothed bass-heavy dubstep influences and abstracted techno grooves in a kind of post-post-industrial garb, while their drum’n’bass, dub, and weightless grime-inspired project Yally was already more club-friendly. As Moin, however, they reached even deeper into early musical socialization for a split with Pete Swanson and a self-titled debut EP: austere, brittle post-punk and guitar drones were the parameters of the four tracks released in 2012 and 2013. That Valentina Magaletti would do well behind the drums in the face of this mixture based largely on repetitive structures was somehow clear, and yet the band, expanded to a trio, surprised with the announcement of their debut album »Moot!« after almost eight years of largely radio silence. Over eight tracks, the three then also strike a somewhat different direction: The tracks, with even more – and apparently this time not exclusively sampled – vocals, are more richly arranged and, above all, more dynamic. Songs, not mere tracks, sometimes playfully accompanied by grueling melodies, noise-rock riffs and abstract basslines, sometimes almost psychedelic. However, the brooding, dry, brutalized basic mood has remained. This is mainly due to Magaletti’s adept playing, which nevertheless draws on the power of repetition, and her occasional appearances as a singer or narrator among all the well-known sample voice fragments. But just as likely, it’s because Andrews and Halstead can focus on even more subtleties, having largely relinquished rhythmic shaping during the half-live, half-studio recordings. “Moot!” has become an album as monochrome as it is diverse, and as a belated debut it has turned out brilliantly.