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Bogdan, Why Do You Torment My Brain So?

Bogdan Raczynski
Boku Mo Wakaran

After just picking up his Samurai Math Beats release a couple weeks back and hearing his contribution of a wack-out mix of Autechre to the recent Warp 10+3 Remixes 2CD set, I was on a mission to find his other album at some point in the near future. Luckily for me, the import-only disc basically fell into my lap (okay, so not completely, but I did ramdomly stumble onto it) recently and it's even more rippin' than his other disc. I know that I drew comparisons to old Squarepusher material in my last review of his work, but after listening to even more of it, all I can say is file this one under "Wacky Guy Rips the Drum Machine a New Asshole."

If you're at all into programmed beats and just how much they can be manipulated to the extremes, Bogdan is the person for you. On the two releases that I have (which is I think everything he's released to this point), he tweaks and freaks the beat like really none other I've heard. It's insane and fookin' great at the same time.

Like his other disc (unless you happen to read Japanese), the tracks are all untitled, but this time there's even more of them. Perhaps coinciding one for each letter of the English alphabet, Raczynski pumps out 26 tracks and over 70 minutes of wiggity-wack beats and other goofy nonsense on the disc. Starting things off with a 5 second distorted vocal track, the disc then breaks into that little sing-song pitch-bent voice that he's so fond of. It sounds like someone singing on helium, and when the beats start a crankin', it makes for a funny juxtaposition. On the third track, the BPM gets cranked up a little more and some light little sounds are added. Not only that, but there are completely off-the-wall vocals that help segment the song as it gets thicker and thicker. Things go even more buck-wild than normal on track number six. After a single vocal sample is chopped and played at several different speeds, things start ripping with hardcore beats that would make Alec Empire jealous.

Aww, screw it. I'm not even going to try to describe all 26 tracks, or even half of the rest of them. I will say that with the onset of track number seventeen and the noise of a fax machine that leads into a distorted vocal sample, you'd probably best duck and cover, lest you be pummeled severely about the head, neck, and shoulders by thunderous, stereoscopic beats on the track eighteen. Although it's fun, wearing headphones and listening might just lead to a severly raised heartbeat and loss of sleep. Track 20 sounds like a speed garage track that's been hijacked and flown straight into the ground, while track 21 is quite possibly the most schizophrenic 1 and a half minutes of cut-up beat pastiche I've ever heard.

Basically, if you've sick of a lot of the smoother drum and bass that's been coming out lately and want to hear something wicked and funny at the same time, check this out. Samples of Japanese television shows and obscure movies abound, and lots of the lighter noises on the disc sound like they've been pilfered from sound effects or music on the old 8-bit Nintendo (or some derivation equal to it), but that's what gives the disc it's personality. Warning: several drum machines were hurt in the making of this recording.

Rating: 8