When Bogdan Raczynski released Renegade Platinum Mega Dance Attack Party in 2003, it was rumored to be his last. Almost five years and one underappreciated Bjork remix later, Bogdan Raczynski has released Alright!, a nearly forty-five-minute album he describes as being “all about joy.” Originally slated to be released in May as Yeeeeehhhaaaaawww, pressing and publishing delays pushed back the album (and its title’s enthusiasm) a few notches. Still, it doesn’t fall short of Bogdan’s promise to “unleash happy energy.”
With two feet planted unabashedly in the world of trancey synth builds and raved-out 4/4 kicks, Bogdan balances the cheese of European dance music with smart sound design and straight-up catchiness. He doesn’t break any new ground sonically, but silly tonal melodies that may at first seem disposable stayed with me, and the charm of the record only increased with each listen.
Of course, you’ll have to bring your own “happy energy” to really appreciate the album. It leaves no space for the pensive brooding of his MyLoveILove-era tracks, nor the dense experimentalism of Samurai Math Beats. In fact, the ravey, nonstop positivity can be grating at times.
Still, Bogdan consistently offers up well-thought out tonality that is hard to turn down. The seventh track (Bogdan does not stray from his penchant for untitled songs) is nearly all synth work over a scant selection of drum-machine kicks and claps. Here, as on all eight of the album’s tracks, Bogdan’s ear for pleasing melodies and songwriting makes what could have been an ugly annoyance into a charming keeper. It’s perhaps a bit stupid and certainly a bit silly, but Alright! is one of the best stupid, silly albums of the year.