Bogdan Raczynski, Boku Mo Wakaran and/or Samurai Math Beats

Rephlex
Released: Fall 1998 (UK)/June 1999 (US)

I put these two together because, although they are both good, they are not good enough that you absolutely need both of them. Pick one and you'll be set.

The first album's title is Japanese and the album cover has a lot of Japanese writing on it, but I don't speak or read Japanese so I don't know what it means. The back cover notes that the album has "about 27 songs," but, according to my CD player, there are only 26. And, to top it off, there is no listing of the song names--not even in the inside jacket, which contains 6 totally blank pages. What the hell is this? Well, luckily, music is an international language, so packaging annoyances are merely that. When you actually listen to these unnamed songs by this weird guy, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Raczynski is a member of the Rephlex club, so there are a lot of similarities between his music and the weird, 808 and CGD frenzy of his lablemates. But, really, the comparisons are minimal. This is very original, inventive music, with a great sense of humor and a wide variety of sounds. The tracks range from hard core noise to ambient fusion to weird flamenco-esque ditties. There are lots of samples from movies and TV shows (in both Japanese and English), but they work much like the music: laying down an mood or extending a motif. This is weird, wild stuff.

The second album's title is in English, but refers (of course) to Japanese culture. The songs are, in fact, listed on the back cover, but they are in Japanese. Despite the differences, however, the music on this, the second Bogdan release, is equally compelling as its predecessor. The big differences here are the vocals, which seem to be performed by an electronic baby (using filters and other plug-ins for effect, no doubt). The voice sounds a little bit like Ike, Stan's brother on "South Park," if he were speaking through one of those Peter Frampton voice distorters. It gives the music an even weirder edge--if that is possible. Still, if you like your music properly Rephlexed, this will appeal to you without question.

Rephlex

Bogdan Raczynski Information (in Japanese and English)

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