RSS B0Y 1 by Jadwiga Janowska
Not much is known about RSS B0YS other than the fact that 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 over 30 years wandering the underground scene. . In the mid-1990s, Kucharczyk founded Mik Musik and continued to release just about everything. Think post-tradition, electro-acoustic improvisations, techno, hip-hop and even weird nuggets like Gameboyzz Orchestra Project (the name says it all, really) or Sebastian Buczek (who cut his limited vinyls out of chocolate). In the 2000s, it was easier to see Kucharczyk live at European festivals than in his native Poland. He was continuously several steps ahead of the local scene on the Vistula.
Unsurprisingly then, exactly 10 years ago, he discovered a mysterious project: two musicians hidden behind colorfully embellished white burkas, playing abstract, distorted techno and pulsing electronics mixed with an array of sonic textures. It’s not just the studio production that made RSS B0YS stand out. I still remember their concert at the Surprise edition of the Unsound Festival in 2015 at the Engineering Museum, where they played a much better set than HEALTH, who was playing with them. Discover the double album HDDN of the same year – the first disc documents their studio concepts, the second their live strategies.
And just when it seemed the band had gone quiet, Mik Musik and Gusstaff Records have us all revisiting the name through an album by half the band, the mysterious RSS B0Y 1. MYTH0L0GY builds on his background in RSS B0YS and offers a track of club-oriented exotic, global and local dance music ideas. The B0Y doesn’t work alone here either: almost every track features a guest from a different corner of the globe, producing a senseless, multi-layered, rhythmic and textural conglomeration of music.
The album draws on many influences and ideas. RSS B0Y combines a reading of Siavash Kasrai’s text on the heroic figure of the archer from Iranian mythology with urban noise (‘B0W AND ARR0’). It explores electronic synthesis leading to a tribal beat, delivering a modern soundtrack to the 21st century metropolis (‘P00CH’). He even dabbles in hip-hop like Clipping or Death Grips (‘NE0 NE0 T0KY0’ with Japanese rapper Judicious Broski). Using different rhythm patterns, RSS B0Y leaves plenty of room for their guests to demonstrate their sound. Trip-hop ‘RASA SAYANG EH’ features a traditional Malaysian lullaby sung by Marianne Mun, while ‘WIND AND HAMMER’ is complemented by the ideally trance-like clarinet miniatures of Wacław Zimpel.
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 the electric guitar of Adam Witkowski (a Pole who discovered his Iraqi roots a few years ago), entering a post-traditional dialogue.
The mythology of the title may be an attempt to find commonalities in different cultures, combined with a vision of electrified and heavily post-produced trance music. It could be an attempt to synthesize how electronic music, which draws on folk traditions, transforms during this process. In its own way, this very cinematic album can also be seen wandering into a globalized reality, where instead of making global things local, a strategy of globalizing things local proves not only more interesting, but blurs all boundaries in a way very convincing. .
To listen MYTH0L0GY nor will it provide us with any clues as to who RSS B0Y 1 is or what its origins are. Is it linked to the Polish, Japanese or Far Eastern music scene? What is borrowed, and what is its tradition? It is almost impossible to connect the dots. This kind of mystery can be boring, but here, with the cosmic electronic trance punctuated by the skills and ideas of the guests, it works in the album’s favor.
Mythology By RSS B0Y 1 will be released by Gusstaff Records on June 10th. For UK pre-orders visit Juno