Blackest Ever Black represents the London-based label, founded in 2010 by Kiran Sande.
Any vision of the world that doesn't admit humour is an incomplete vision, and anyone who follows the label closely will have discerned the occasional muffled peel of laughter in the dark. For the most part Blackest is serious and po-faced to a fault, Kiran Sande is proud of this, because that's the way it has to be and for that meaning to penetrate.
Blackest Ever Black would probably be the funniest name for a label in recent memory if they didn't seem so damn serious about it. The London imprint, headed up by FACTeditor Kiran Sande, is self-consciously and deliciously po-faced. Their mission? To make you feel something. And through its four releases thus far, it's aim has been true: Raime's disquieting dub-inflected four-four skirts techno, but doesn't sound like much of anything that's been released this decade or last. Tropic of Cancer is black lace, wax candles and 1983.
Beginning with a pair of EPs by the young British duo Raime, who sourced their penumbral, slo-mo techno entirely from samples of vintage goth and post-punk records, Blackest Ever Black has rather quickly grown to encompass a vast range of dark-side miscreants: Regis, of the industrial-leaning techno label Downwards; noise nihilist turned apocalyptic raver Prurient (aka Vatican Shadow); dark-ambient legend and soundtrack composer Lustmord; New York no-wave veteran Stuart Yard and his projects Ike Yard and Black Rain; and Los Angeles new-school goths Tropic of Cancer, among others.
Sande runs the label, but it was Raime who inspired Blackest Ever Black. Before launching the label, Sande had worked as a music journalist for the British publication FACT. “It’s the natural thing,” he says of getting his start in the industry by writing about music. “You do what you can to get closer to the music you’re interested in, and I suppose writing was the ability I had that could bring me into that world.” He knew he wanted to start a label, and had even begun socking away savings to fund its eventual launch. “But I didn’t really get anywhere creatively because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put out,” he says, “and I didn’t have anything to put out. I was hitting up a few producer friends, but I didn’t feel particularly enthusiastic about it. It was good music, but if I had gone and released any of that, it would have been fitting into someone else’s narrative.”
Sublabels: Confessions, Krokodilo Tapes.