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Bitchin Bajas

Idioma disponible: inglés
Chicago trio Bitchin Bajas make hypnotic instrumental music with a delicate balance of synthesizer and non-electronic instruments. The group's sound grew slowly as their discography expanded to include both casual recordings and more ambitious studio creations. Frequently released cassettes and EPs evolved into full-lengths like the 2016 Bonnie "Prince" Billy collaboration Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties, the band's 2021 tribute to Sun Ra, Switched on Ra, and the 2022 double album Bajascillators. Bitchin Bajas began in 2010 as a solo side project for Cooper Crain, guitarist of Chicago Krautrock revivalists Cave. The early sounds of Bitchin Bajas were equally psychedelic but decidedly less aggressive than Crain's primary band, opting for more textural exploration than rhythmic force. The project quickly became prolific in its release of music, starting with the Tones & Zones full-length in 2010 and trickling out split singles, EPs, cassette-only releases, and the like among more actualized full-lengths every year that followed. The solo project was expanded to a duo with the inclusion of Mahjongg's Dan Quinlivan, adding more synth and guitar textures to Crain's web of spectral sound. Rob Frye, also of Cave, eventually became a member of Bitchin Bajas, contributing flute, saxophone, and guitar. Albums documenting the group's development arrived often, with 2011's Water Wrackets, 2012's Vibraquatic, and 2013's more fully realized Bitchitronics. Though the band had either self-released its music or worked with a variety of lesser-known indie labels, Bitchitronics arrived on indie giant Drag City. The next year, a self-titled double album materialized, seeing the band branch out into more sprawling fields of sound over its eight-song and almost-80-minute running time. Transporteur, a shorter LP on the French label Hands in the Dark, was released in 2015. That same year saw the group collaborating with fellow Chicago spell-casters Natural Information Society on Automaginary, and 2016's Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties brought Bonnie "Prince" Billy along for the ride. Also in 2016, the group collaborated with filmmaker Olivia Wyatt (Sublime Frequencies) for the film Sailing a Sinking Sea, which was released as an LP/DVD set. The double-album Bajas Fresh appeared in 2017, and the band toured in support of what was their most intricate recording to date. In 2018 Drag City collected much of the bands catalog on the seven-disc set Rebajas. The compilation included long out of print early releases but also repackaged more widely available releases. Over the next few years Bitchin Bajas released several miscellaneous projects including a 2018 split album with DSR Lines and 2019's self-issued cassette of unreleased jams Cuts III. The band had recorded their version of Sun Ra's "Angels and Demons at Play" for Bajas Fresh, and in 2021 they further demonstrated their appreciation of Sun Ra with the tribute Switched on Ra. The album included the Bajas' takes on eight Sun Ra compositions and was released on cassette in October of 2021 by Drag City. 2022 album Bajascillators would be the first properly realized full-length from the Bajas since 2017's Bajas Fresh, and the double album found the band taking their sound to new places once more with the four side-long songs. Over the course of the record, the band experimented with MIDI bell sounds, an expanded arsenal of synths, and sharper production, diving deeper into their distinctive take on kosmische.
© Fred Thomas /TiVo
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