Bogdan Raczynski

Samurai Math Beats

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    8
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Low-budget keyboards, Japanese robots, brown cardboard, child-like melodies, hyperactive machinery, kung-fu, drums, drums, and more drums. Samurai Math Beats carries on the tradition of impossible drill'n'bass as Bogdan Raczynski's sophomore effort burrows into the skull with beeping beauty and buzzing basslines. After Rephlex records put out his similar sounding debut, Boku Mo Wakaran, the label quickly scrambled to make this their very next full-length release, since they had clearly stumbled across a delightful madman who rivals Richard D. James on his more restless days. Indeed, Raczynski strikes the listener as a sort of evil Aphex Twin by comparison. He paints with narrower brush strokes than his peers, but he pushes so hard on the canvas that he slashes clear through to the other side -- his song structure packs so much into each measure that melodies and memorable hooks are rarely around long enough to make a lasting impression. As a result, many tracks here are interchangeable exercises in lunacy, blending continuously from one to the next and harder, therefore, to find clear standouts on the album -- like trying to identify single bullets when an entire round is fired at once (but just for fun let's say tracks one, two, seven, twelve, and fourteen deserve repeated attention). Samurai Math Beats and his aforementioned debut album are so similar in nature, it's questionable as to whether or not to own both. Later releases show Raczynski trusting himself more by easing back on his claustrophobic style of songwriting, making more room for individuality in his pieces, and letting things breathe instead of hyperventilate. Restraint would come later, but the insanity still deserves a lollipop.

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