Bogdan Raczynski - Rave 'Till You Cry
Yes, you’ve read that right. A new Bogdan Raczynski release. Do not adjust your sets. This is not a drill.
After a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it white label had many of us wondering if we’d hear more from the Rephlex legend in 2019, we’re as excited as you are to find out that the rumours are true. Over a decade on from the last record to bear his name the Polish-American artist issues Rave ‘Til You Cry, a compilation of previously-unreleased jams put out by the Disciples imprint. This 18-track transmission is here to remind us of everything that makes Raczynski so great. Tracks ranging from breakbeat, brain-melting IDM, beautiful braindance and harsh noise are all delivered with an infectious enthusiasm.
The madcap glee that is present in Rave ‘Til You Cry’s most intense moments means that this album is as witty as it is abrasive. Check the manner in which ‘318 22t7’ bludgeons you with kicks while also delivering moments of melody amid the chaos, or the way ‘332 23t422’ breaks up the mutant jungle beat with some jarring spoken word samples. Heard in a modern context it’s now easy to see how the likes of Sophie, PC Music and Bjarki have drawn from Raczynski’s frantic-calm-frantic dynamic.
Amid the whirligig drums and wacky 303s there are moments where other facets of Raczynski’s sound shine through. The two tracks which bookend Rave ‘Til You Cry frame the album in a different light - there is a cinematic quality to the eerie, spacious ‘156 s2n’ and ‘204 fr’. ‘220 s1c’ is almost abstract enough to pass for musique concrete, while ‘210 31c22’ is a melodic leftfield hip-hop beat that could have been siphoned off from a Dabrye LP. With Bogdan Raczynski’s old pal Aphex Twin making a comeback in recent years it feels right that this old breakbeat pioneer should get another moment in the sun.
His Name Is Alive - Return To Never (Home Recordings 1979-1986 Vol 2)
Disciples are really doing right by fans of His Name Is Alive of late. After dropping the archival releases All The Mirrors In The House and the 6TEEN OK cassette, the label now deliver Return To Never, the follow-up to All The Mirrors… and the second of three compilations focussing on tracks made by the one born Warren Defever between 1979 and 1986. What we have here are formative works dating from Defever’s teenage years (sometimes even earlier). In these tracks - and the accompanying interview and inner-sleeve essay by My Bloody Valentine/Galaxie 500 chronicler Mike McGonigal - we see a young Defever honing the techniques that would serve him so well in the project’s successful later years.
Much of the record comprises beautiful greyscale drones and ambiences that often come doused in liberal amounts of tape hiss. This sound is particularly apparent in the first half of the album, and the manner in which one Basinski-esque vignette bleeds into another would have you think that these tracks were conceived together as a whole album rather than being the disparate bedroom experiments of an adolescent. Defever’s wide-ranging musical interests bring more variation into Return To Never as it goes on - the album’s back-third is more torrid, with an increasingly industrial/concrete flavour to the distorted tones and audio manipulations.
Those who dug Disciples’ His Name Is Alive drop All The Mirrors In The House should brace themselves for Return To Never, the latest set of late-70s/early- and mid-80s rarities to emerge from Warren Defever’s vaults.