You'd be hard pressed to find a producer who does oldskool in a new way better than France's RAITO.
With each release, his penchant for classic 90's breakbeat hardcore paired with tribal influences becomes more apparent. So much so, that it's spectacularly easy to spot a track of his from a mile away. I dare say he knows his sound better than any other producer knows theirs.
He's on the back of supporting Virtual Self around the US for a massive tour, spanning from intimate club shows to warehouse sized spaces.
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He's also just dropped his biggest release yet - an EP on seminal techno label Boysnoize Records.
Titled One Step Beyond, the release captures every essence of the spectrum of sound Raito's explored so far. The title track is a four-to-the-floor oldskool anthem, using sound grabs from raves to really hit hard how much of a festival track this one is.
'Island Tribe' combines tribal melodies with rave staples - high-pitched string synths in the build ups and breakbeat percussion in the breakdowns. The track works hard to drive itself to the brink on multiple occasions, but it's that explosive last 30 seconds that really brings it home.
In a similar vein, 'Drop That' takes elements of techno and uses them within more of an oldskool context. It thumps in the best way possible, and could definitely be played in a heap of different club contexts.
The final track, 'No More' is a fusion of the best parts of all of these tracks really. It's jittery breakbeat, heavy house and it uses elements of tribal sounds and samples to round out this absolute banger of an EP.
As the title track suggests, this really is one huge party. The MC shouts the title 'One Step Beyond' as the track drops, and that's the best summation of the EP, done so through the sounds themselves. It really is nu-rave at its best; thoughtful, hard-hitting and it does a fantastic job of reviving the essences of 90's rave culture that have become a little more lost as time progresses and what's popular changes.
As if he hasn't been busy enough, he's just dropped a massive floor-filled aptly titled 'Hardcore Rave' that sees distortion, chugging percussive hits, vocal shouts and a menagerie of mechanical samples define this one, out via Brooklyn Fire Records. He's also set to release new sounds in December via Carl Cox's label Intec.
We were stoked to have Raito on Purple Sneakers on FBi Radio last week for a guest mix, and boy did he deliver. The mix opens with a huge, sunny breakbeat re-work Gerd Janson, kicking later into the title track from his EP and rounding out nicely with his oldskool take on Virtual Self's 'Ghost Voices'.
Listen to the mix in full below and be sure to tune into Purple Sneakers on FBi Radio each Saturday from 5-6pm AEST. Dial in at 94.5, DAB+ or stream online at fbiradio.com.
Don't Go (Gerd Janson Re-Work) - Julie McDermott
DJs Take Control (Sooney & Slipmatt 2018 Remix) - SL2
One Step Beyond - Raito
Compnded (Alan Fitzpatrick Edit) - DJ Edge
Loud - T78 & Sisko Electrofanatik
On & On - Gary Burrows
Baby E - Local Group
Ghost Voices (Raito Oldskool Remix) - Virtual Self
Grab Raito's One Step Beyond EP here.
Words by Caitlin Medcalf