- Bogdan Raczynski
- The Bug
In November 2003 REPHLEX, the legendary label started 12 years ago by Grant Wilson Claridge and Richard D James aka the Aphex Twin, celebrates 12 years with the 17 November release of a 19 track compilation album ÒRephlexions – A Compilation of BraindanceÓ and a 14 date UK tour in association with LOGARHYTHM. The tour is the fourth Logarhythm organised tour this year, and follows previous tours by WARP RecordsÕ Mira Calix and Chris Clark, WARPÕs Req One & Invisible SpiesÕ Kid Acne, and the late September 2003 dates from Austrian label MEGO. The Rephlex / Logarhythm tour will feature BOGDAN RACZYNSKI and ASTROBOTNIA live, with special guests including THE BUG
BOGDAN is the samurai man-child who dreams from Grand Prix bed sheets and can play a tuneless trumpet like nobody’s business. His compositions may be termed hardcore by some standards, but they display an amazing sensitivity and are at times quite romantic. .
Although known for more noisy music, on his fourth album myloveilove Bogdan took the music his music into uncharted audio with crying accordions, broken-hearted beats, wallowing trumpets stolen from an anonymous grade school, flutes, solid-wood guitars and a vocal repertoire reminiscent of the fall season in nagoya (when birds sing gently, yet rain pours).
Bogdan live is almost cacophonous, his music sounds as though it is performed on contact miked bins and sick instruments, full of feed back and disharmony, with Bogdan’s trademark bass and something sounding like a chicken trying to bark everything at a zillion beats per minute, somehow, again it all sounds gorgeous.
Aleksi Perala was born in Finland in 1976 and grew up with his family in on the border of Lapland. He started making music way back in 1989, but first released music on Rephlex in the late nineties under the name Ovuca, after he sent in strange demo’s of odd noises, like some new creature was trying to contact Rephlex with an important musical message.
His recent releases have been under the name Astrobotnia, a name that suggests an inspiration from the starry nightime sky. It’s extremely deep, sophisticated detailed electronic music, ideal for wrapping yourself up in on a cold night. His most recent release is collaboration with another brilliant Rephlex artist called Cylob, it’s music that falls into place after a few listens then becomes highly addictive!
Under various guises (Ice, God, Techno Animal, Curse Of The Golden Vampire), Kevin Martin aka The Bug produces an exhilerating mutant ragga,dancehall,techno mash up.
CAPSULE IS A MEMBER OF LOGARYTHM
Drawing together, via a co-operative network of some of the most innovative independent promoters, artists and labels, and sponsored by THE ARTS COUNCIL OF ENGLAND, LOGARHYTHM aims to readdress the balance between the UKÕs pool of pioneering and creative talents, and the under-representation of electronic music, particularly in the live arena, with a series of events, workshops, tutorials and concerts that will serve as a focal point for the UK’s electronic music scene.
Interview with THE BUG aka Kevin Martin
THE BUG [interview with Kevin Martin…]
Medicine Bar Saturday 8th November
by Martin Longley
The undoubted highlight of Capsule’s summer Supersonic festival was The Bug, who delivered a manic set of full-on speed-ragga dancehall antics. Kevin Martin’s pre-insectoid incarnation has seen him enjoy a 15-year involvement with God, Ice and Techno Animal, acts more known for their intense walls of guitar noise than any kind of syncopated dancefloor sense.
For a decade now, Martin has had a significant working relationship with Birmingham’s Justin Broadrick, a wild guitaring man who founded both Napalm Death and Godflesh. “We love the idea of evolution and mutation,” Martin explains. “Morphing into different identities, because we’re so obsessed with music and sound.
” The pair’s last Techno Animal gig (again at the Medicine Bar) was a strobe-lighting spectacular. “The reason we do that is because we don’t really feel there’s a live show, there’s just two guys manning machines. That was okay, but generally there’s even more smoke or fog than that. You shouldn’t be able to see the person next to you. The idea is to totally disorientate people, to submerge them in sound.”
Martin and Broadrick’s latest band is Curse Of The Golden Vampire, with their Mass Destruction album recently released on the US Ipecac label. “It’s probably the most extreme album Justin and I have ever done. He plays guitar on it, ultra fast, ultra violent: loads of screaming. I lost my voice for two weeks. Absolutely insane!”
Tomorrow night, The Bug performs as part of the Capsule team’s Rephlex Records night at the Medicine Bar, in the company of Bogdan Raczynski and Astrobotnia. This is Martin’s first solo incarnation. “Since working with Techno Animal, we’ve been increasingly drawn to the dancefloor, towards clubs.”
This all started when the Animal toured with DJ Spooky, Alec Empire and Porter Ricks. “It was a revelation for us. We’d been playing in noise bands or free rock bands with crap sound systems, and suddenly we’re playing to a thousand ravers a night, through really amazing sound systems with a massive amount of bass. If there’s one thing that’s consistently brought together everything I’ve ever worked on, it’s dub,” says Martin. “Not just dub reggae, but the idea of dub as a way of navigating through music. I love what dub does to music, the random-ness, the chaos, the way songs are infinite as opposed to finite, open-ended as opposed to closed.”
Martin was inspired by the dub reggae soundclashes that he attended upon arriving in London at the dawn of the 1990s. He was completely taken by their minimal set-up and huge bass presence, with only a few lightbulbs dangling over the speaker stacks. “The sound basically massaged my internal organs for three hours, and I’ve never recovered from that experience.” Martin’s Bug identity has only been in effect for just over a year, beginning when he created an alternative soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 movie, The Conversation. Kevin usually starts building up a track from a bassline or a drum pattern, employing a mixture of laptop manipulation and live instrumentation. As with his last visit,
The Bug will be working behind three MCs: Warrior Queen, Mexican and Ras B (the latter being a regular with Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound crew). The Bug appears tomorrow as part of Capsule’s Rephlex Records night at the Medicine Bar, Digbeth, from 9.00pm onwards…
Review of the night
|Rephlex Records was formed 12 years ago, by Richard D James (otherwise known as The Aphex Twin) and Grant Wilson Claridge. They’re celebrating this longevity with the release of a Rephlexions compilation disc and a 14-date tour.
Rephlex has always been dedicated to the extremes of breakbeat culture, sounds that have descended distantly from drum’n’bass, but often so fast or so disconnected that the act of dancing becomes problematic.
So, the floor was overtaken by a certain sense of uncertainty, as Bogdan Raczynski largely subsumed the usual bass obsessions in favour of low-tech keyboard sounds and dinky playroom melodies, all lopped into brief spurts, before a different rhythm stepped in or booted out. Disorientation was even stronger once The Bug took the stage. Kevin Martin likes to use extreme strobe-lighting effects, which is kind of perverse when he’s got a live crew of MCs toasting along to his deranged version of Jamaican dancehall ragga.
Since that monumental (but mostly just mental) July appearance at Capsule’s Supersonic festival, The Bug had taken his own music apart and ripped out its innards. I was dancing non-stop on that first occasion, but this time the momentum was frequently interrupted by misshapen stretches of headbanging, sudden shifts of tempo and breakdowns into completely abstract white noise.
This is at once interesting and refreshing, but failed to deliver last time’s stomping abandon, boasting the curious spectacle of MCs Ras B and Warrior Queen singing fairly conventional ragga lines into a blizzard of discombobulated extremity.