Bogdan W. Raczynski – Muzyka Dla Imigrantów (MondoJ cassette rerelease)

5 out of 5

Label: MondoJ

Produced by: Bogdan Raczynski

A beautiful set of moments; sketches. Muzyka Dla Imigrantów – “Music for immigrants” – finds electronic artist playing accordion, trumpet, harp, and pipe, delivering 6 brief tracks which speak to his Polish background. As a commentor mentions on Discogs, given Bogdan’s place on Rephlex at the time, it was easy to assume this was a lark, or a joke of some type, but as we’d see on the then-forthcoming MyLoveILove – the original liner notes of this album suggest tracks are shared between the two, but I think it may just be elements? – Bogdan does have a serious side, which, to be fair, has been apparent in moments on his beat-based discs. But whereas a full-blown exploration of that was a little flat, this snapshot, and the framework of heritage and immigration – and probably the short runtime – make it land perfectly. For those fearing boredom in comparison to Raczynski’s other works, his songwriting penchants are absolutely here (which is fascinating in retrospect – how that translated to his electronic work), simply sans beat, and played at a more patient clip, which real instruments. We’re also not totally absent of manipulation, with the first track having a digital edge via (to my ear) lightly remixed elements, the song casting a wonderfully somber and touching spell over the affair, and as this whole album is played by Bogdan, obviously he’s mixing different layers together in general.

The first track is the most fleshed out, but even the short interstitials have their place here, moodily drawing us from moment to moment, with the lullaby of the 2-ish / 3-ish minute tracks extending that lovey, hazey dream state of memories and ancient melodies.

A longer version of this, or something more “committed” would likely be a bit too much, and perhaps lose some of its charm. Its somewhat offhand nature feels so honest, and the clear melding of Bogdan’s style to traditional tunes is magical.

MondoJ’s cassette rerelease sounds great, and adds a very thoughtful essay (from Bogdan, presumably) about the nature of immigration, and the life of an immigrant, with proceeds from the purchase going exclusively to a refugee seekers relief foundation.