Rave 'Til You Cry marks the long-awaited return of Bogdan Raczynski, one of the most unique, unpredictable artists affiliated with Aphex Twin's influential Rephlex label. The Polish-born eccentric released a dozen recordings through the imprint between 1999 and 2007, ranging from the hyperactive jungle bastardizations of '96 Drum 'N Bass Classixxx to the surprisingly sentimental electro-acoustic reflections of My Love I Love -- not to mention a killer collaboration with Björk (the original, Vespertine-era version of "Who Is It"). Since 2007's ecstatic Alright!, he's made sporadic live appearances, remixed Osborne and Jónsi, and released a few DJ mixes, but no original material has surfaced. Rave isn't actually a proper album of new material, but a selection of archival tracks, as well as some alternate versions of older tunes -- a few of the earworm melodies will be familiar to longtime fans, and the rest will fit right in with the aesthetic of the artist's early albums such as the 1999 classics Boku Mo Wakaran and Samurai Math Beats. Absurdly complex smash-and-grab breakbeats collide with frazzled, nearly chiptune melodies, some of which manage to be alarmingly affectionate and bittersweet, and snippets of helium-voiced Japanese chatter or distorted mumbling crop up at unexpected intervals. Some tracks, such as "309 14ae2," seem like a more unhinged mutation of the techstep style popularized by producers like Ed Rush and DJ Trace during the late '90s; the clattering beats are splintered and noisy, and the distorted Reese basslines are twisted into an asthmatic wheeze. The short-but-sweet "213 213r" is representative of Bogdan's tender side, with sunburst melodies shooting out straight from the heart, and speedy, push-pull beats keeping the pace. Rave isn't a radical departure from Bogdan's earlier work, but it is a welcome reminder of what we've been missing out on for over a decade, and to anyone addicted to his singular style, it's much cause to rejoice.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson
Track Listing - Disc 1