Published Apr 05, 2019He may have never received the accolades afforded to contemporaries like Aphex Twin or Squarepusher, yet Polish-born nomad Bogdan Raczynski is one of the unique personalities to come out of the '90s electronic music scene. Words fail when trying to describe exactly what he does. Taking his catalogue as a whole, his style of off-kilter braindance tweakin' is most easily comparable to some mix of the time-shifting breakcore madness of Venetian Snares and his more techno-based Last Step project, but with more adjectives.
Raczynski last appeared back in 2007, with the studio album Alright!, itself five years removed from its full-length predecessor. Lord only knows what he's been doing since then. Couch surfing across Tokyo? Crafting voodoo dolls to wreak vengeance upon the ignorant critics who snubbed him? Good luck getting a straight answer out of him. Regardless, everything up to Alright! was released through Aphex's Rephlex imprint, while this 18-track compilation of previously unreleased tracks, Rave 'Till You Cry, is being suitably handled on fledgling Warp sub-label Disciples.
This collection does not sound like a bunch of throwaways, as much as it simply seems like a new, fully realized Raczynski album. We are talking about the finest hard house-cum-blitzcore jungle nonsense ever produced with trackers on an ancient PC. At a time when most of us were playing snake on monochrome cellphones, this guy was hunkered away in a tracker hole somewhere, crushing bits and breaking beats. If we are to believe the press release, we are still mining gold from that incredibly prolific era, though he could just be messing with us, as he is wont to do.
Whenever or however these monstrosities were actually produced, the proof is in the pudding. Rave 'Till You Cry is as brilliantly insane from start to finish as any other collection Raczynski has assembled. "213 213r" is the nutbar IDM castle victory theme for Super Mario Bros. 3 you never knew you needed. The vaguely Asian mutant lullaby of "329 15h" wouldn't have felt out of place on his seminal 1999 album Samurai Math Beats, while "318 22t7" has a scattershot uptempo tech-step drill & bass feel that could have slid in somewhere on 2002's '96 Drum n Bass Classixxx. You can hear where he came from, but it easily stands on its own. This isn't Sparta; this is madness. (Disciples)