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Album Of The Week

Feeding Frenzy: Mythology By RSS B0Y 1
Jakub Knera , June 2nd, 2022 08:47

The mysterious RSS B0Y, accompanied by Arash Bolouri, Waclaw Zimpel, Judicious Broski and Marianne Mun, takes us on a post-traditional and post-club journey across the globe

RSS B0Y 1 by Jadwiga Janowska

Not a lot is known about RSS B0YS apart from the fact there are two of them, and they were discovered over a decade ago by Wojciech Kucharczyk, a musician, visual artist and label owner, who spent more than 30 years roaming about the underground scene. In the mid-1990s, Kucharczyk founded Mik Musik, and went on to release pretty much everything. Think post-tradition, electro-acoustic improvisations, techno, hip-hop and even weird gems such as Gameboyzz Orchestra Project (the name says it all, really) or Sebastian Buczek (who cut out his limited vinyls on chocolate). In the 2000s, it was easier to catch Kucharczyk live at European festivals than in his native Poland. He was continuously several lengths ahead of the local scene on the Vistula.

Unsurprisingly then, exactly 10 years ago, he discovered a mysterious project: two musicians hidden behind white burkas with colourful ornaments, who play abstract, distorted techno and pulsating electronics mixed with an array of sound textures. It wasn’t just the studio production that made RSS B0YS remarkable. I still remember their concert at the Surprise edition of Unsound Festival in 2015 at the Engineering Museum, where they played a much better set than HEALTH, who were on the bill with them. Check out the double album HDDN from the same year – the first disc documents their studio concepts, the second their live strategies.

And just when it seemed that the band had gone quiet, Mik Musik and Gusstaff Records have us all revisit the name through an album by half of the group, the mysterious RSS B0Y 1. MYTH0L0GY builds on his experience in RSS B0YS and offers a follow up of the ideas of club-oriented-exotic-global-and-local dance music. The B0Y doesn’t work alone here either: almost every track features a guest from a different corner of the globe, producing an insane, multi-layered, rhythmic and textural conglomerate of music.

The album draws on many influences and ideas. RSS B0Y combines a reading of Siavash Kasrai’s text about the heroic archer figure from Iranian mythology with urban noise (‘B0W AND ARR0’). He explores electronic synthesis leading to a tribal rhythm, offering a modern soundtrack of the 21st-century metropolis (‘P00CH’). He even reaches for hip-hop in the style of Clipping or Death Grips (‘NE0 NE0 T0KY0’ with Japanese rapper Judicious Broski). Using different rhythmic patterns, RSS B0Y leaves plenty of space for his guests to demonstrate their sound. The trip-hop ‘RASA SAYANG EH’ features a traditional Malaysian lullaby sang by Marianne Mun, while ‘WIND AND HAMMER’ is complemented by Wacław Zimpel’s ideally trance-like clarinet miniatures.

This clash of cultures comes out best, however, in ‘G0DS ARE T00 SHY’. There, based on trance and a fiery rhythmic break, the sound of Arash Bolouri’s santour intertwines with Adam Witkowski’s electric guitar (a Pole who several years ago discovered his Iraqi roots), entering into a post-traditional dialogue.

The mythology in the title may be an attempt at seeking out common elements in different cultures, combined with a vision of electrified and heavily post-produced trance music. It could be an attempt at synthesising how electronic music, which draws on folk traditions, is being transformed in the process. In its own way, this very cinematic album can also be seen wandering in a globalised reality, where instead of making global things local, a strategy of making local things global proves not only more interesting, but blurs all the boundaries in a very compelling way.

Listening to MYTH0L0GY will not provide us with clues to who RSS B0Y 1 is or what are his origins either. Is he connected to the Polish music scene, Japan or the Far East? What is borrowed, and what is his tradition? It’s almost impossible to connect the dots. That kind of mystery can be annoying, but here – with the cosmic electronic trance punctuated by the guests’ skills and ideas – it works in the album’s favour. 

Mythology By RSS B0Y 1 will be released by Gusstaff Records on 10 June. For UK pre-orders visit Juno