Duo who introduce themselves as RSS BOY ONE and RSS BOY TWO - as they are completely anonymous. The pair have spread the rumour that they met in Benin in West Africa.
They make electronic music that is mostly instrumental and includes vocal tracking and samples taken from other vocal tracks. Here's some more information about the most mysterious boy band in Poland.
RSS B0YS operate mostly through the Internet. Communicating with fans by posting lapidary messages on Facebook, their notes consist mainly of punctuation signs, zeros, and sometimes letters - meaning most often vowels.
C0MNG T0 CRC0W
When they describe their music, they usually stress that it is ''post-everything,” as they don’t consider themselves a part of any musical genre. All categories seem to equally apply and so the label doesn't concern them. The RSS BOYS have their sights turned toward the future. The mysterious collective describes the scope of their musical inspirations as: “Fr0m African deserts to Euro dance halls.”
Seldom holding concerts, these affairs always showcase them in elaborate costumes that fully conceal their identity. In fact, it’s never even been confirmed that RSS B0YS are indeed boys – they very well may be masked women. During their first gig, which took place at the Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival in 2013, they wore their own variations of Muslim niqabs. The dresses were white and embellished with coloured ornaments and they wore face veils that resembled a lacework style found in the Polish region of Kurpie.
Their producer is Wojtek Kucharczyk, also known as The Complainer and the founder of the label mik!musik. They publish their music in physical formats (limited CD series and soon a cassette to be released by Sangoplasmo) and they post it on the Internet. Any interviews that take place are most likely online, which is how I was able to contact them. I found the elusive band somewhere between a community portal and the depths of the alternative Internet called Deep Web.
Their style revolves around a mighty, deep bass that fills and flows around the structures of the compositions. It could reasonably be called records of ritual dances. In fact, the word “composition” sounds a little outdated, as their music is very spontaneous. Listeners are affected by the almost physiological rhythm that is slow and steady in comparison to typical club music. They make you want to dance, move, shake your head - anything to have your body participate.
RSS B0YS - 0MG from MIK MUSIK on Vimeo.
The duo’s music is also based on samples taken from unknown sources, often ethnic recordings of forgotten music from across the world that they find on blogs. They also take direct samples from a series of tapes they acquired at African bazaars. Lacking refined effects or showy production, simplicity or even crudeness seems to be a part of the RSS B0YS aesthetic language.
In constructing their tracks, they employ structures that resemble those used in language itself –melodies, rhythms and harmonies can be forgotten or may return at a moment when you least expect it. Breathing new life into African tribal music, this anonymous duo from Central Europe offers a crude and almost dirty sound. It refers to dark electronic music, which still exists in the club scene thanks to a few independent European labels.
But it also brings to mind African beats and, thanks to ethno-musicological research, more people have greater access to these styles and can have them as a present reference point. While describing their genre as “post-everything”, it is more accurate to say their work creates a parallel world. Their sound contains layers of what used to be interwoven - perhaps even forgotten - with the contemporary and the future.
When asking the RSS B0YS about how they relate to music from the past and if they had any muses they replied:
WE HAVE OUR MUSES. BUT THEY’RE ANONYMOUS, AS THEY’RE PEOPLE FROM OLD ETHNO-MUSICOLOGICAL RECORDINGS. WE TREAT OUR CONTEMPORARY FRIENDS AS IF THEY ARE A PART OF A CONTINUUM AND IF A SITUATION OCCURS IN WHICH OUR COMPOSITIONS BRING TO MIND THE WORKS OF SOME KNOWN LIVING ARTIST, IT IS LINKED TO BEING EXPOSED TO THE SAME VIBES AND ATOMS IN THE AIR, IT IS THE TYING OF INVISIBLE THREADS. THE FUTURE DOES NOT EXIST WITHOUT THE PAST, BUT WHAT AWAITS US WILL BE SOMETHING NEW.
Hiding behind pseudonyms or creating false artistic identities is a method as old as the notion of “artistry” in the history of Western art. The theory is that by diverting attention from the creator, it will be directed towards the work of art. However, this doesn’t seem to have the same effect with RSS B0YS' situation. The group spends as much time explaining their secrecy as they do talking about their music.
When I asked them about their anonymity, what the results were from it and what it meant, the masked musicians replied:
ANONYMITY – EVEN THOUGH IT COMPLICATES ACTIONS LOGISTICALLY, ALLOWS FOR MORE FREEDOM THAN AN EXPOSED FACE. ANONYMITY RAISES THE LEVEL OF ATTRACTIVENESS, PEOPLE BEGIN TO WONDER. THIS IS ALSO A TEST OF HOW FAR YOU CAN GO. WHEN WE DECIDE IT IS TIME, WE MAY REVEAL OURSELVES, OR REVEAL OURSELVES PARTIALLY. FOR NOW THINGS ARE GOOD. WE’RE FIGHTING OUR EGOS, ALTHOUGH WE’RE PROBABLY ALSO BUILDING NEW ONES.
The Internet changed the face of culture and phenomena that occur entirely offline remain a curiosity. This judgement applies to things that exist completely outside of the Web, which for some reason seem to be more valuable than what is present online. RSS B0YS exist in the virtual world and this is their natural habitat. For a long time they presented their works solely online. Even shows are announced only via the Web: from Facebook, from a newsletter written by their label, or from a listing of events in an online calendar.
In contrast to musicians who post their photos and thoughts on Facebook and encourage fans to interact with them, RSS B0YS disembody their musical personas from their personal identity. By going a step further, they refuse to be false. They don’t smile and they don’t show their everyday lives. Instead they communicate through punctuation signs. Their virtual and technocratic image that denies access to their “realities” serves as a brutal criticism of how the Internet is used by a majority of users. However, it is also an image that affirms and approves of the Web. This virtual dimension can supply us with an unlimited source of knowledge and will serve, for now, as our only means by which to learn more about the RSS B0YS.
- RSS BOYS – ''RSVP'' (2012)
- RSS BOYS – ''W D0NT BLV N HYP'' (2012)
- RSS BOYS – ''TH T00TH 0F TH FTR'' (2013)
Contact the band: Facebook
Author: Filip Lech October 2013, translation: Marek Kępa, edit: SMG