music | features | artist interview
Take a twenty-something from Poland, throw in a bit of Middle American and a hint of Japanese, some junglist beats, sub-bass, a laptop and the singing of a small child... and you have your very own Bogdan Raczynski
By Zwei Katzen
His music sounds like its travelled from a warzone into a playground – perhaps, because in essence, that’s what’s happened to him. Moving from Poland with his parents at the age of seven to escape Communism, he relocated to America, then Japan, and then spent a brief spell in the UK, where has was banished by the British Government, thus resettling in his current outpost of Toronto, Canada.
Although his passion for maths and a personal colour-to-number conversion system may serve to elude, Raczynski’s complex compositions challenge any beat-freak to a junglist duel, with cheeky little songs so infectious you end up singing them all day long in a high-pitched voice. Having just returned from playing the ‘Rice Haters Tour’ in Japan, Zwei Katzen got her claws stuck into an interview with the cross-dressing king of chaotic-step.
What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?
Love, lack of love, food, leaves, software, cuddling, arguing with my love, chocolate.
How did you get involved in Rephlex?
They heard about my exploits in Brazil. I lived in Brazil for about six months and had a crazy farm growing potatoes and squash. I did an album with a 100 year-old man who played trap set while I did trumpet – ala Gato Barbieri – he’s my star. So Rephlex heard some bootlegs on the Brazilian pirate station in London (Burritos FM). Big ups to my man CARLOS WALLACE MAGIQUE! They were going rampage like the game where you’re the dinosaur going from town to town pillaging and causing aural mayhem. They got in touch, they brought me over for a big tour, we raised the roof in Japan and burned down some clubs and the rest is sweet caress.
Have you any new stuff out soon or new projects on the go?
Many. I’m so busy I can’t even find time to wash my panties. Finished a remix for Systemic Noise, doing some more remixes for some labels in England, China, Japan and Brazil, got an album coming out in China under Jue Wang Kee records (Shaolin Speed Garage LP), learning to cook, trying to make money so I can eat, more remixes for superstars and bums. I’ve also possibly got an album or two and a single or two coming out next year.
Who does your artwork?
I commission my 8-year-old brother Jasiu to do it. He works strictly under Linux. He listens to the material and deliberates on constructing a theme and then works for 2-3 weeks on laying it out – super-tight. He’s producing my next album. I’ve decked him out with a magical studio for aural experimentation. Hi Jasiu!
Your beats are very junglist. What do you think of the British drum and bass scene – Roni Size, Tech Itch etc?
If Tech Itch is as YOZ as his beats then hook me up on a blind date. Most of my junglist technology training came from when I was living in London, listening to the pirates (shouts to ma bitches on the radar!). Running through back alleys in East London with a portable, trying not to get my head smashed in cuz I was a whitey in the wrong part of town, just trying to catch some freq’s. Damn radio wave limitations. I ran with my smashed up laptop recording the jilted audio, you know the kind of filtered noise that results from the dial being in between two radio stations.
What is it like living in Canada? Whats the 'scene' like? Do you see many moose?
The scene is crazy underground megalopolosis. There are night-time scratchers and cardboard enthusiasts clubs a many. I frequent an event called ‘River’ based around participatory sound strangulation, cooking, nudity and sheer darkness (visually). People think IDM is the new cat's fanny lips, but I’m lucky enough to be privvy to the mad set up going on in my neck of the woods. I’m starting my own night-time patrol gang. We scour the streets and fight crime. We also drink lots of booze and yell at macho fucks and dirty bitches. We don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody.
What was the music scene like where you lived as a boy? What did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to Frank Jankovic classics like Who Stole The Kieshka and Beer Barrel Polka. Time honoured traditions that still resonate in my heart to this day. I can still smell the sausage now...
What do you prefer – dresses or trousers?
Depends on the fabric and design. I’ve seen some nice skirts and dresses. I don’t make a habit of wearing them though. There’s a really fulfilling trouser scene here in Canada. It’s invigorating.
Techno or 2-step?
Shaolin speed garage. Check the carnage in China coming out soon!
Have you got an important message for the world?