Remember Remember
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Remember Remember

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"Remember Remember - Track By Track"

Whenever possible us Clash types ask the artists responsible for our favourite records to guide us through their creations. So here’s Remember Remember lynchpin Graeme Ronald’s track-by-track dissection of his excellent debut.

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‘And The Demon Said...’
I've never owned a piano, but playing them is one of my favourite things in the world to do. Any time I get to play one I end up writing a little piece... they are often bad but I always liked this one. I wrote it a couple of years ago when I was in Cava Studios, recording with my old band, and I was obsessed with demons. Once I had recorded it, it felt a little naked, but we had already recorded the sound of a sparkler burning with the intention of using it as the intro to the album. The sparkler on its own sounded too harsh so it made sense to put it together with the piano piece.

‘The Dancing’
Are you The Asking? Then I'm The Dancing. This song probably mutated more than any other throughout the recording process... at first the only rhythm was a loop of me kicking a can of Irn-Bru around and the pounding kick-drum... then we sequenced some samples of us spinning coins and spraying deodorant and the like, then several months later my friend James added some hi-hat and snare, the resultant rhythm salad being quite flavorsome.

‘Genie (For Amaya)’
Doing a Genie: Hold a lit match up to the exposed phosphorous heads of a full box of matches, and watch it explode. This is probably my favourite song on the record – it’s another old one which I initially wrote as a layered guitar piece... it was tremendous fun then translating those guitar melodies onto piano, violin, clarinet, sax and flute and it turned out sounding even better than I could have imagined. It's dedicated to my niece Amaya who was born around the time I was writing it... although the other theme, of playing with matches, is perhaps a little inappropriate for children.

‘Fountain’ / ‘Mountain’
Tracks four and five, ‘Fountain’ and ‘Mountain’, are actually just one song ‘Fountain Mountain’, an earlier version of which was released as one full song on a Rock Action compilation earlier this year. The title was suggested by my friend Iain, unbeknownst to either himself or I that there is a type of Roman Candle firework named Fountain Mountain which was a nice coincidence. Anyone who spots the similarities in the final section to ‘Hey Ya!’ by Outkast is politely requested not to tell anyone...

‘The Swimming’
This was written around the same time as ‘Genie’, and the water sounds throughout are intended to counteract the fire sounds heard in ‘Genie’. I'm superstitious.

‘How Did You End Up Like This?’
Introduces the album's closing four-song suite, which may or may not be about a man who believes he is a cat. It began also as a guitar piece but I borrowed a friend's Rhodes piano and fell in love. The final layer to be added was the beautiful flugelhorn part played by James's friend Mick, which was a total afterthought, but now I couldn't imagine the song without it.

‘Imagining Things (i)’
My girlfriend just called this song a mindgasm...

’Imagining Things (ii)’
And relax...

‘Up In A Blue Light’
Essentially a reprise of ‘How Did You End Up Like This?’, except with the cold minimalism replaced by practically everyone involved in the record either clapping their hands, playing percussion, improvising solos and pretty much playing at full pelt. I felt the pain of my insistence that everything be played totally live (no loops) by clapping a rhythm out on my hands for ten minutes straight. If you turn it up really loud at the very end you get to hear my extremely inexpertly played harp solo. - Clash Magazine

"Remember Remember - S/T"

My wife and I are milling about the house on a Sunday morning, ‘Remember Remember’ on the stereo. I find myself dancing to a track, aptly titled ‘The Dancing’, oblivious for minutes of the fact that the wife is doing the exact same thing in another room. When we both wander into the living room to find ourselves mirroring each other, we laugh and proceed make tea (me) and coffee (her). She thinks nothing more of the synchronised spontaneity; I, though, dwell upon it, concluding such a happening must be the result of hearing a quite wonderful record.

Of course, first impressions can often be misleading – while ‘Remember Remember’ is indeed a fine debut album, its opener proper isn’t wholly representative of what follows. While ‘The Dancing’ clicks and clacks like Errors, much of this swoons and sweeps like the more-gorgeous moments of Mice Parade; it flutters its eyelids and has you blushing with ease, the romantic overtones taking hold by the time ‘Fountain’ unwinds itself fully, cyclical guitar patterns hypnotising the listener into a sweet submission. As the track bleeds into the chimes of ‘Mountain’, another mood is manifested, further emotions evoked. Here, delicate instrumentation builds to a fuzzy electro stomp, like The Knife at their most disco-friendly.

Ostensibly the solo project of ex-Multiplies member Graeme Ronald, Remember Remember are a multi-headed on-record beast, with contributors many aiding the production of these ten tracks. Joan Sweeney’s sublime violin work paints pieces with a tangible texture missing on many electro albums, while fellow ex-Multiplies member (and present Errors drummer) James Hamilton adds percussive urgency where required. Even Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite gets in on the action, credited as contributing handclaps.

At its most serene it’s easy to draw parallels between Ronald’s work and that of renowned score composers – there’s a cinematic lusciousness and brilliant luminescence to atmospheric arrangements like ‘The Swimming’ and ‘Imagining Things (ii)’; but even when stripped back to bare bones, as on that initially impacting ‘The Dancing’, there’s a considerable depth to ‘Remember Remember’ that keeps its audience curious to delve further into its layers, shifting the sediment to reveal more delights. For all its eccentricities – recordings of fizzing Irn Bru, of ‘instruments’ including Wind-up Monkey and Sellotape Dispenser – there’s a very accessible heart to this album, one that any man or woman can relate to, and enjoy.

You might dance – you certainly will to begin with – but you might also end the experience crying, just a little. ‘Remember Remember’ is that kind of album – to dive into cliché it is quite the journey, a tale told not by words but by emotions ingrained in instrumentation beautifully developed and perfectly executed. Pigeonhole it as post-rock and you sell its charms short; as modern classical and you can alienate potential admirers. So just take this away with you: ‘Remember Remember’ is one of the most wonderful records you’ll hear in 2008. Or 2009, for that matter.

And if you were really paying attention, you’d have got that message some 400 words ago. - Clash Magazine

"Remember Remember - S/T"

Despite being on Rock Action, you can’t really describe Remember Remember as ‘post-rock’, it just doesn’t fit. Typical received wisdom dictates that if you are an instrumental band that uses guitars, bass and drums then you must play post-rock, and if you play post-rock then you must use the quiet-loud-quiet-loud rule. There just isn’t much scope when there aren’t any vocals, right? Well, as this self-titled debut shows, you’d be dead wrong to think that. Graeme Ronald is the sole member of Remember Remember and whilst he does use guitars, bass and drums, he also makes use of piano, violins, woodwinds, glockenspiel, and shows a flare for found sound, which is to say bubblewrap, a hole-punch, a sellotape dispenser and a few other similar things, which he incorporates into the music.

There are layers and layers of guitars throughout this album, often as much as 3 or 4 at any one time, weaving in and around eachother playing clean toned riffs, as on ‘Fountain’ or ‘Imagining Things (II)’, and there are reverby ones playing a strung out tone as on ‘The Dancing’, and there are gauzy echoing ones as found on ‘The Swimming’, and there is a Brian Eno treated psychedelic lap steel sort of sound on ‘Genie (For Amaya)’, and a lot of the time all of those styles can be found in the same track. This amount would threaten monotony if it were not for the use of woodwinds, which carry a lot of the melody, as on ‘Mountain’, ‘Imagining Things (I)’, or the violins, glockenspiel and piano which add a different tone to the whole album. This tone is mannered and pastoral, evoking the 19th century in some respects, ‘Genie (For Amaya)’ has a piano playing a bittersweet and airy piece, and later violins playing in beautiful swirls. Yet, again, there are elements which complement the basic sound, this time the found sound and field recordings add pleasing intricate parts, carbonated water being poured into a glass and rain falling can be heard in ‘The Swimming’, and hand claps are incorporated in both ‘The Dancing’ and ‘Up In A Blue Light’. The final thing to be found here is the tendency to create a pulsing trance, which shows an obvious influence from such composers as Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, violins sawing, repeating notes on guitars or piano or glockenspiel or clarinet, a hypnotic exploration of rhythm.

These ingredients create a caressing, slow style that flirts with Minimalism, the album is kept fresh by using post-rock elements in different and interesting ways and melding light melodies into it all. Indeed, these melodies are not the typically drenched statements made by other instrumental bands, there are no crashing grand statements, and that is no big loss at all. These busy compositions make a perfect headphone experience, the slowly evolving songs reward close listening, offering up details and insights into the nuts and bolts which only enhances the pleasure of listening to the album.
75% - The Line Of Best Fit

"Remember Remember - Feature"

Remember Remember: "I’m not deluding myself I can be a pop star." Ethereal sounding grounded Scot.

Rich Hanscomb
Ken Street

Sitting in the back of a Brighton drinking den, Graeme Ronald, aka DANIEL JOHNSON / STEVE REICH referencing musician REMEMBER REMEMBER, exudes a boyish sense of wide-eyed enthusiasm. Rightfully proud of his self-titled debut album on MOGWAI’s Rock Action Records, he’s currently on tour with influential US noise crew GROWING, for which he put together a seven-piece band. “Using a laptop isn’t the same as a live band, is it?” Ronald’s sweet, Glasgow brogue suffuses our conversation as he gives me an insight into his formative days. “I played with Mogwai as an additional keyboard player. I kept pestering them to let me join the band. I was working on my own stuff with a Loop station and started playing live regularly. Mogwai came down to hang out at one show and then offered to do an album.”

As it’s afforded him so many opportunities, Ronald is proud of his home city. “Glasgow does have a great music scene. It takes going away to appreciate what’s there. The art school or dole queue are great places to meet musicians. It’s a vibrant environment. Best steer clear of the neds though.” The music of REMEMBER REMEMBER mirrors the urban, comfortingly grey, concrete beauty of Glasgow. “It was a conscious decision to make a record that sounded Scottish. I hate it when people sing in American accents. Or think they’re German. There’s a sense of shame attached to being Scottish. Growing up, I was embarrassed by the Proclaimers, Rab C Nesbit, bag pipes. I saw Kurt Cobain on MTV and that was it! Getting older, you look to your own identity to create more honest art.”

Ronald is refreshingly grounded. “I’m not deluded enough to think I can become a pop star off of minimalist drone music,” he deadpans. “Making money is not a priority. Shouldn’t music be free? CDs, selling music – they’re all imposed business models.” Forever the Modernist, he’s already got his sights on the future. “The label wants me to promote this record more but I’m so keen to start working on new music. Touring’s new enough to be exciting but it’s still work. I’m quite up for doing a Brian Wilson and sending out other people to play my songs…”

Remember Remember is out now on Rock Action Records. - Dummy Magazine

"Remember Remember - Feature"

Nebulous seems the perfect adjective to describe Remember Remember. Cloud-like connotations sit perfectly with their ethereal sound, but it also aptly sums up a shifting line-up that snaps between an 11-piece string, brass and woodwind ensemble to a solitary guitarist armed with a loop pedal and a box of office stationery. “First and foremost it’s basically me,” states Graeme Ronald, the man in question. “I’m the only person who’s always been in Remember Remember, but it seems unfair to call it a solo project because the album was so collaborative.”

Ronald has previously played with Multiplies and The Royal We, however Remember Remember has been forming for some time, being his catch-all name for anything he did on his own at home on his computer. “I was initially put off performing it live because, to me, watching someone perform with a laptop is usually pretty boring. There aren’t many people that can make that kind of thing interesting,” he reasons. “Unless they dance!”

Deciding to take another route, Ronald became enraptured by loop stations, a guitar pedal that lets you, well, loop what you play in a live setting. “The songs mainly come from me having ideas and melodies in my head and the loop station is a brilliant song-writing tool for that,” he reasons. “As soon as you have an idea, you can put it down, loop it and then start to flesh it out with other ideas. For the first year, gigs were just me on my own, looping the guitar and complimenting it with other instruments.”

However, Ronald is keen to keep things ‘real’, particularly in the studio. “On the album I tried to avoid actually looping things as much as possible. It was more overdubs, so me and the other musicians were playing a riff as if we were looping it, but really we were just playing the same riff for like five minutes straight.”

He continues: “Producers are quite keen, especially these days with computers, to listen through a take for any slight trace of a mistake and then cut ‘n’ paste it out. I’m trying to work against that, trying to maintain the mistakes as long as they aren’t too awful. It’s good to keep that human feel to it. I don’t want people to mistake this for an electronic record.”

So how would Ronald describe his debut album? “It’s the most fundamental question,” he concedes. “A musician should really be able to describe what their music sounds like. One thing that’s getting banded around a bit is the ‘modern classical’ thing, which sounds really pretentious, but tags like ‘electronic’ and ‘instrumental’ are really quite vague. To describe music as instrumental is pretty stupid.”

'Modern classical’ on Mogwai’s Rock Action label? “My record is a bit of a departure in a lot of ways from what they’ve brought out before,” he admits. “The clue is in the name, but I’d like to think that I fit in well with them. I mean, even Mogwai have their more tender moments.” - The Skinny

"Remember Remember - S/T"


Watching Remember Remember construct a gorgeous wall of looped percussion using the most mundane of objects (sellotape, scissors and staplers) is something you are unlikely to forget. The track in question, Fountain/Mountain, forms the epic two-part centrepiece of this eponymous debut for Rock Action. Within nine minutes it provides a dewy early-morning face wash, followed by a breakfast of clouds before careering off on a soaring flight along the Earth’s inner atmosphere. The name is no doubt a nod to the repetitious nature of their recording: banks of looped, eddying guitar motifs, cascading pianos, flurries of duelling woodwind and snow-crisp xylophone all vie for attention, but snugly fit into a cyclical and dream-like whole. All of which are, seemingly, compacted into just one facet for the 30 minute, four-tiered finale Imagining Things, dwarfing all the grandeur that has come before it. At this exponential rate of increase, Remember Remember will have landed on the first glacier on the moon by Easter. [Darren Carle] - The Skinny

"Remember Remember - RR Scorpii"

With its twinkling glockenspiels and lazy trumpets there’s a tinge of the twee about new Remember Remember release RR Scorpii, the first release from former Royal We member Graeme Ronald (and guests) since his self-titled debut popped up in 2008. A list of instruments as long as a fisherman’s forearm are deployed in a weave; stylish and durable enough to please a Hebridean spinner.

The central refrain to opening track Lips is so happy and immediate it runs the risk of instantly transforming into the opening music for an Australian soap opera. Get Good is more restrained but inhabits the same musical landscape, while the other two songs take a more downbeat, introspective road. Too short for a fully immersive experience, maybe, but enough to dip in a sturdy toe for a good soak. [PJ Meiklem] - The Skinny

"Remember Remember - S/T"

This debut by Remember Remember sits snugly alongside Errors’ debut album on Mogwai’s Rock Action label, proving that those wily Scots don’t just make fantastic music, they can also spot it from a mile off.

What makes this album sparkle is its prettiness. While Mogwai did sterling work smashing up the rock formulae, Remember Remember shun their patrons’ eight-minute crescendos for something far more serene and delicate. The riffs are repetitive but subtle, creating a lush, calming scene - it’s the soundtrack to a shower of rain in summer, or the sun setting behind the mountains. There are no sudden twists and turns, no outbreaks of violence, just smooth, unbroken flights of fancy.

Mainly the work of Glaswegian Graeme Ronald, Remember Remember’s tone is created through the layering of minimal riffs on top of each other: pianos, guitars, glockenspiels, violins and synths. He expands on that with plenty of homemade nonsense, listing various “instruments” such as bubblewrap, coins, Irn-Bru, a wind-up monkey and a rubber shark. The result is spell-binding.

See it like this: if Errors get you in the mood for a night out, and Fuck Buttons represent the decadent thrill-seeking as you swallow your poison of choice and clatter into the early hours, then Remember Remember are the saving grace, the headache soother, the reminder that there’s a new day dawning, full of possibilities. It’s no wonder Mogwai signed them - these are happy songs for happy people. - Drowned in Sound


rockact42cd - Remember Remember (Album)
rockact46 - The Dancing (7" Single)
rockact52 - RR Scorpii (4 track EP)



“Remember Remember- aka Graeme Ronald- excels at creating existential soundscapes through looped samples, minimalist keys and twinkling glockenspiels that have the power to burrow through to the very core of your emotional being... A sensitive debut of epic proportions” NME 8/10

“Beguiling” Q Magazine
“A musical banquet” Clash Magazine
A hypnotic musical atmosphere pitched somewhere between a funeral and a magic show.

Based in Glasgow, Scotland Remember Remember has been playing elaborately staged shows in and around the city for the past few years, originally the solo project of Graeme Ronald (ex-Multiplies, ex-The Royal We) 2007 saw R.R start to collaborate with additional musicians - the outcome, being the band’s critically acclaimed s/t debut with some of the most epic-sounding and ambitious music to emerge from the city in a long time.

The duration of time between the self-titled debut and EP, has seen Remember Remember metamorphose into an incredible seven piece live band. Remember Remember’s brand new EP, ‘RR Scorpii’ takes up where their self-titled debut left off - with 4 brand new tracks recorded in Glasgow’s Green Door Studios. as well as - aside from the haunting, minimal guitar piece "Aria" showcase the full band in full psychedelic rock stride.

Tapping into the hypnotic repetition of Steve Reich and the endless instrumental landscapes of 70's rock, Remember Remember's intricate compositions make for an entrancing listen on record, and an increasingly stunning live show.
Absorb yourself in Remember Remember's unique musical world.