Bogdan Raczynski: Samurai Math Beats

Rephlex, 1999

Bogdan Raczynski has certainly developed an idiosyncratic style, as displayed on this LP. The title track is a microcosm of his aesthetic. It opens up with a ferociously distorted beat bordering on the industrial, before adding playful synthetic doodles and popping sines. It’s only when Raczynski’s amiably scatterbrained vocal emerges, half-singing about “fighting the forces of evil in our galaxy, together,” that this LP becomes something more than a mixture of early Aphex Twin and Plone. There’s something about Raczynski’s music which seems to embody the internal emotional conflicts of teenagehood (or maybe that’s just me); the title track could almost be a protest song for disillusioned youth. Other tracks are in the same vein, with a few exceptions—“Aho Jiko” could be the Mario Brothers’ theme tune, while “Nan No Tame Ni Boku To Honyaku Shika” (gasp) contains the spooky essence of “House Of The Rising Sun.” Unfortunately, although the schizophrenic combination of the thunderous and the childlike is often evocative and beautiful, fifteen tracks’ worth at the same frenetic pace is wearing to say the least. A few more slow melodic moments (at which he excels—his sweet remix on Warp 10+3 is proof) would have made this a less tiring listen. Again, take in small doses only.

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