Bogdan’s mix of heartfelt vocals in a world of cold electronica, plus a penchant for tasty floor-fucking drum & bass and bizarre instrumentation – most markedly on 2001’s landmark accordion-fest ‘myloveilove’ – has firmly plonked him in a field flagged ‘rather special’. Peerless in music, although with a perverse sense of subversive humour that may just remind you of one Aphex Twin. Oh and his current motto for life is, “play everything like your house is on fire and you haven’t peed in three days and you don’t know whether to run or piss on the walls like you’ve always wanted to.” Respect.
Anyhow, now he’s returned with ‘Renegade Platinum Mega Dance Attack Party: Don The Plates’ – a mixture of previously unreleased tracks from accompanying and splendidly-monikered 12” ‘I Will Eat Your Children Too’ and super-rinsing cuts from ultra-rare vinyl-only album ‘’96 Drum N Bass Clasixxx’. Or as the man himself describes them, “absolutely scalding 2400 baud packet material”. Try saying that with a mouthful of salty cock, indie boys. Alarmingly, it’s rumoured to be his last album. Mr Raczynski, say it ain’t so?!
“Nah, it’s just teasing. I’ve got at least three more tracks before it’s all over for me.”
Riiiight. That brings us nicely on to your habit of taking the piss somewhat through clenched teeth. The title of ‘Renegade Platinum...’ brings back memories of previous EP ‘Ibiza Anthems Vol. 4’. Death to the Balearics?
“No, I genuinely thought my ‘Ibiza Anthems Vol. 4’ was going to be considered a gem by the likes of Oaky [Paul Oakenfold] and the boys. Reality set in, heartbreak ensued, I’m just now getting back on my feet. ‘RPMDAP:DTP’ is about completely mincing the plates. The tracks needed to be included to give the world a broader appreciation of life, something to aspire to, a light at the end of the carpel tunnel.”
So what about, ‘I Will Eat Your Children Too’? Is there any meaning behind that one?
“Absolutely none. Titles are for sissies.”
True. So, just for argument’s sake, you walk into a room where Coldplay and Fatboy Slim happen to be chatting. Who do you punch first?
“I’d punch neither! I think it’s incredible that people enjoy music. There’s some shit that I hear that makes my gut churn, but to be honest, that sort of shit is in the genre that I’m usually clumped in. I went to a Coldplay show recently and it was incredible, people were singing along and loving it to the max. It made me realize how much people really need music. You go to some raves and people will just be trying to sneak a peak at what software system you’re using to control the moon. ColdFatPlayJim on the other hand just fucking rock the party and people rip their nips doing cartwheels and jumping jacks, who can diss that?”
Electronica fans in comparison are infamously, ahem, more intellectually devoted to their music. Ever had any close scrapes with bedroom beatheads, or even female fans?
“Yeah, I’ve had a few glimpses. Getting my leg rubbed, being followed back to the hotel. I guess you can’t blame some people for trying, it’s not like I have a ring on.”
Facts you may or may not know about Bogdan, #372: Mr Raczynski collaborated with Björk circa ‘Vespertine’ on material that has, officially, yet to see the light of day. You may get lucky on Kazaa, download-lovers.
What ever happened with your Björk collaboration?
“It was far too ruffneck ‘n’ ting. The poor Ms got blisters just being in the same room. Had a really nice time with her though. Truth be told, I don’t want the track out there. It’s a gem and it’ll stay locked away in my Atlantis, don’t touch it.”
Changing the subject somewhat, if you were God for the day, who would you have killed?
“I’m really not into violence at all. I stay away from army-related clothing like shirts with guns and camo. I don’t stuff flowers in people’s ears, but I’m not going to support any fashion that has violence related artwork. Who needs it? I don’t want to scratch, let alone kill, anyone. Cockroaches, on the other hand, I’d fucking obliterate them from the planet. Bastards.”
Given your previous vinyl-only CD-shunning releases, which format do you prefer – vinyl or CD?
“Both are shite, I think. Personally I MP3 every CD I buy. Filesharing is Satan. I’m all up for buying MP3s. Whenever I buy a CD, I immediately MP3 it then throw away the CD/packaging. I feel so bad to mother earth for even buying the physical part of it, it’s such a waste.”
How do feel all your travelling around has affected you as a person?
“It’s made me bitter – it seems absurd that you can’t just travel wherever you want whenever you want. You need papers. You can’t live in London ’cos you need to swim across the channel or be an illegal worker. Want to visit USA as a non-USA person? Prepare for x-rays, anal search, background check and to have your grade school teacher called up. What does it matter to the immigration counsellor that I stabbed some kid in the neck when I was eight? It was just a small scratch. An accident. Bastards.”
What’s the greatest animal on earth?
“I don’t like animals. My lady tells me it’s not animals I should be pissed at, but people for keeping pets. I’ve been living in cities for the last five-six years, so I’ve seen a fair bit of homelessness, and it pisses me off when I see people buying dog/cat food when there’s a guy outside who looks like he’d probably rip into that cat food himself. No, it’s not the pet’s fault, but seeing pets brings out that reaction in me, so it’s hard to disassociate. Bastards.”
As the musical press moves ever further into the murky waters of pay-and-display advertising for favourable reviews, with morals chucked bin-wards like so many unsold copies of last week’s NME, Bogdan has the sense to cut through the crap. Indeed, on the website of Rephlex – the fine, fine electronic mash-up Richard D James-associated label which releases Raczynski records – he’s gone one step further. What follows is Bogdan’s own join-the-dots ‘press release’ for ‘I Will Eat Your Children Too’:
“Hey, I’m as tired of writing these damn press releases as you are of reading them. What’s this, your fifth today? 50th? I’ll make things easy for both of us. I’ll not make the presumption that you’re an idiot, who’s actually going to buy into any of this press shit, and instead give you a review, just fill in the blanks; you don’t even have to listen to it.
“I’m so considerate that I’ve even made the review an extra boring collection of all the clichéd Bogdanisms and currently accepted phrases. You can thank me for saving the time it would take to do a review and giving you 50 minutes to go back to laughing at that new hilarious flash animation – “oy mate, check this, it’s such a fuckin larf!...”
“This four-track _____ disc is the long overdue _____ dish from the _____ and ____ Bogdan Raczynski. If you’ve seen Bogdan go _____ and utterly lose it in one of his _____ live shows, you need no introduction to the antics of Mr Raczynski. For those of you who’re unfamiliar with Bogdan’s _____, we have two words for you, _____ _____. The four tracks on this EP are Bogdan’s idea of _____ and are destined to scare any DJs _____. You can easily _____ Bogdan dancing along like a _____ _____ or singing (or screaming) along to these tracks, like he does at his _____ live shows. We can’t recommend it highly enough, so go down to your local _____ record shop and pick up this _____ EP. That’ll bring you to _____ one minute and _____ _____ _____ the next.”
Genius. Do you really have a severe dislike for the press?
“Well, I do get personal about the mix of art and business. Though I understand that it’s near impossible to separate these days. Any attempt to communicate with more than just your friends requires some kind of funding, whether your own or otherwise. However, the sheer cookie-cutter style of most reviews I see is just tiring. Just don’t even have a flipping music review section if it’s just there to ‘round out’ your rag. You’re just doing the artist a disfavour by being half-assed about it. It’s like your lover looking deeply into your eyes and saying they love you, and you just respond with “Mmm, yeah, nice one”. Fucking cold ass prick.
“So I thought I’d make things easier for some panty-loomer who got stuck with the rookie bin. They’re just doing their job, so how can they be expected to be honest? But people believe it. And who’s to know what reviews are bought and which aren’t? You can buy placement in music shops, so I’m sure you can buy placement in magazines. Is a major mag going to rip on [Justin Timberlake’s] ‘Justified’ album? Hell no, but they’ll rip poor BR to shreds to at least give the appearance of actually caring. Bastards.”
Bastards indeed. Bogdan’s off on his first UK tour for a very, very long time in November, and it should go without saying that you’d be slightly daft, a proper bastard even, to miss it.