Podcast 585: Bogdan Raczynski
Podcast 585: Bogdan Raczynski
Coming from Bogdan Raczynski, this mix is as out-there as you’d expect—a thrilling, fast-paced 45-minute sonic adventure of irregular rhythms that comes with a tracklist that’d you’d expect from a mix at least five times times its length (not one of these plays out to the end.) It opens with two tracks from the same artist—Danny Breaks, a British drum and bass DJ better known as Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era—and closes with an album’s worth of clattering jungle from Soundmurderer + SK-1. But Raczynski has never been one for convention.
Raczynski was born around 1977 in Poland before moving to the United States with his family. He attended art school in Japan but later dropped out and eventually became homeless and living on the streets of Tokyo or living in friends’ homes. He arrived on the scene in 1999, rumoured to have been discovered by Aphex Twin whilst sleeping rough. He released three albums in quick succession that year alone—think happy hardcore, gabba techno, and drill-n-bass—and more followed, all through Rephlex, the latest album coming in 2007 in the shape of Alright!. He’s also collaborated with Björk and remixed Autechre for Warp’s 10+3 compilation, but things have been quiet for over a decade.
To celebrate to upcoming release of Rave ‘Till You Cry—an 18-track archival album of joyous sugar-rush tunes—Raczynski compiled a mix of some of his favourite records. It’s intense and and frantic, hardly something to put on in the background, but it’s certainly fun and exciting—a grower if you’re in the right mood. Grab it now via the WeTransfer button below, and read more on Rave ‘Till You Cry here ahead of its release on Disciples, a Warp-affiliated label.
What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been running various reverse time-stretch experiments. That is, a few years ago, I connected an array of EMF and ultrasonic microphones in, around, and under a nearby 100-year-old barn. The goal is to record how this building lives, decays, breaths, and otherwise exists within its environment.
If you can imagine the floorboards in your house creaking, but on a slower, less interrupted scale. There are so many factors at play that affect the end result. For example, there is no foundation on the barn so the changing seasons impact the soil which has a direct yet microscopic effect on the wood, not to mention the fact that the barn itself is sinking ever so slightly each year. Animals occasionally use the barn too, which affects the air quality, accelerates decay, and otherwise impacts what does and does not happen in and around the barn, etc.
And those are just a couple of the physical factors solely related to the barn itself.
There are also many recordings of the barn to take into consideration, various sources, methods, and locations. And then you also have a plethora of algorithms to process the sound, for example from a three-year recording to something listenable like a five-minute clip.
All of this obviously requires a hefty amount of computational power, storage capacity, and, most notably, time. But imagine if one day there was a technology that could record entire decades with ease: cities, rooms, mountains, and you had the means to recontextualize the recordings with ease. Or perhaps there would be even more layers, something spectral perhaps.
It’s a beautiful metaphor for all of the influences in a song. We generally focus solely on the aesthetics, the instrumentation, a song’s place within a time and place. Sometimes there’s an effort to piece together some kind of emotional puzzle.
But rarely do we consider the fact that we are all actually instruments in the most beautiful sense that all of our lived experiences differentiate how you would create a song as opposed to someone else. Not just your musical training, or lack thereof, but your conversations, your parental relationships, your fears and joys. The ground you’ve walked on, the smells, all of the times you’ve been sick, the affection you’ve received or haven’t. The wrongs you’ve committed and the guilt you’ve built up. Your heart of hearts.
You’re set to release Rave ‘Till You Cry. Tell me the story behind it.
I’ve become a bit obsessed with algorithms as I don’t think we are appreciating how big of a role they will play in our future. We like to focus on privacy issues, large scale hacks, and their impact, and other easily understandable consequences of our interconnected lives. But I imagine a future where some kind of processing unit will be so vast in its power and ability that it can hoover up an entire century of content, all of the lived, experiences, photos, every book contained during that time, data on weather, wars, traffic, technology and so on as a means of … well.. whatever its mistress/master wishes. Perhaps the goal will be benevolent. Perhaps functional. Perhaps bad.
Rave ‘Till You Cry is steeped in algorithms. Not just the compositions themselves but their order, their sequencing, the samples, etc. Ultimately, that is what all music appears to be, some kind of vast, otherwise unimaginable beast that crumbles into atoms if you attempt to pick it apart too much.
Why are you releasing it now?
Now is the time. There is no other time to release it.
“….if you can stomach the whole thing then perhaps, just maybe, you’ll be revved up to do something to help humanity.”
What can we expect with this mix?
This mix is a 45-minute, 63-track micro-rave. Dance, close your eyes, or hang your head in blissful, temporary ignorance, whatever. But, if you can stomach the whole thing then perhaps, just maybe, you’ll be revved up to do something to help humanity. If not, this mix has failed its purpose and our future denizens may consist of those whose billionaire asshole ancestors built bunkers and sorted themselves the fuck out.
Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
People become obsessed with gear, but I’ve always been obsessed with software. Cutting, splicing, shifting, rearranging.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
Vibration. Energy. Sound power.
First, you pick the tracks that give you tingles. Memory tingles, knee jerk, whatever makes your synapses visibly fire. Then, sequence. Think about it, but don’t overthink it. Focus on energy.
Step outside of your shell a bit. If it makes you a bit uncomfortable, then you’re on the right track.
If it’s not interesting to you, then why the fuck should it be interesting to anyone else?
What’s next on the horizon?
I’m working on a new album, looking for a label to release it on, and also trying to get over to Europe this summer for some shows, to smell some different air and test out some new experiments I’m prototyping.
Enough time has passed and I’ve stayed sufficiently disconnected from any scene that I don’t feel any particular influence. But it’s me, it’s electronic, and it’s as close to the pure energy, literally and figuratively seeping out of that barn as I can get.
Due to temporary issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era “What The…”
02. Sons of a Loop da Loop Era “Breaks the Unbreakable”
03. Bay B Kane “Wake Up”
04. Austin “Unity in Dub”
05. Austin “Unity in Dub”
06. Acen “Close Your Eyes” (‘XXX’ Mix)
07. Acen “Trip II The Moon” (Kaleidoscopiklimax)
08. Omni Trio “Renegade Snares”
09. EQ “Total Ecstasy” (remix)
10. Acen “Window In The Sky” (DJ DMS Mix)
11. Swoopes “Firin’ Times”
12. Omni Trio “Mainline” (Techno Mix)
13. Cloud 9 “Mr. Logic”
14. DJ Crystl “Warpdrive”
15. DJ Mayhem “Inesse” (Ray Keith Remix)
16. Krome & Time “The Slammer”
17. Engineers Without Fears “Spiritual Aura”
18. Omni Trio “Feel” (Feel Good)
19. D-Force “Original Bad Boy”
20. Q Project “Champion Sound”
21. DJ Rap “Digable Bass”
22. Ray Keith “Phizical” (Moody Mix)
23. Bay-B-Kane “Hello Darkness” (remix)
24. Bizzy B “Slow Jam”
25. DJ Hype “Weird Energy” (Hells Bells Mix)
26. Johnny Jungle “Flammable”
27. Rhythm For Reasons “The Smokers Rhythm”
28. Renegade “Something I Feel” (2 Bad Mice Remix)
29. NRG “I Need Your Lovin'”
30. Tango “Project 1” (Remix)
31. Noise Factory “Can U Feel The Rush” (Remix)
32. DJ KP “Stoned”
33. Open Skies “Ozone Nights”
34. FBD Project “Terminate”
35. Boogie Times Tribe “Dark Stranger” (Origin Unknown Remix)
36. Origin Unknown “Valley Of The Shadows”
37. 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse “Drowning In Her”
38. EQP “Crackman The Return” [DJ Ron Remix]
39. Cloud 9 “You Got Me Burnin'” (Original)
40. DJ Hype “Going Out For Da Loot”
41. Engineers Without Fears “Rhythm”
42. Renegade “Terrorist” (PA Mix)
43. 4 Hero “Journey From The Light”
44. Foul Play “Open Your Mind”
45. Foul Play “Being With You” (Foul Play Remix)
46. H.M.P. “Runnin’s”
47. The Invisible Man “You Don’t Know”
48. The House Crew “Euphoria” (Nino’s Dream)
49. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Fathom”
50. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Badman”
51. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Stylee”
52. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Soundclash”
53. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Dangerous”
54. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Toronto V.I.P.”
55. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Darkness”
56. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Search & Destroy”
57. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Call Da Police”
58. Soundmurderer “Lickshot”
59. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Soundclash Remix”
60. Soundmurderer “Track 1”
61. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Tel’embodanustyle”
62. Soundmurderer “Track 3”
63. Soundmurderer + SK-1 “Dreader Than Dread”