While Toronto-based electronic producer Bogdan Raczynski originally burst onto the IDM / breaks scene back in 1999, managing to release no less than three albums during that year on Rephlex, he’s been curiously absent during the last decade, seemingly disappearing after releasing his last studio album ‘Alright!’ in 2007.
Twelve years on this latest album ‘Rave ‘Till You Cry’ on new Warp Records sublabel Disciples marks his long awaited re-emergence and sees Raczynski trawling back through his vault to select the 18 unreleased tracks and versions collected here. Given its origins as a compilation, it’s surprising just how cohesive this collection feels as a complete listen, its tracks managing to highlight the contrary edges of Raczynski’s personality, whilst also easily standing up there with his regular studio albums.
As you’d expect, the emphasis throughout falls upon Raczynski’s signature irregular time signatures, with hyper-accelerated breakcore / junglist rhythms powering beneath the majority of the tracks here. ‘156 s2n’ opens this collection gently at first as eerie IDM electronics squiggle and jitter against a backdrop of icy synth sweeps and dark bass swells, the combination of sinister ambience and manically fidgeting electronics calling to mind parts of Aphex Twin’s ‘Analord’ series more than anything else (no real surprise, given the two artists’ shared Rephlex heritage).
‘329 15h’ meanwhile highlights Raczynski’s more playful side as music box-like melodic tones trace an unpredictable path against dry, skittering breakbeats, chipmunk-like sped-up vocal samples and twinkling bells. Elsewhere, ‘307 33m15’ scatters Nintendo synth tones over a woozy backdrop of processed squeals and throbbing bass chords, in what’s the closest thing to a melancholy downbeat moment here, before ‘309 14ae2’ sends things straight back into the dark maelstrom, sending serrated rave stabs arcing against spring-loaded breakbeats and dark thunderclouds of sub-bass, the filtered drums rolls winding up like corkscrews. If you’re new to Bogdan Raczynski’s discography, ‘Rave ‘Till You Cry’ is an ideal place to start.