Bitchin Bajas; unknown and unknowable

I’ve never been on trend, but it turns out Bitchin Bajas is a new release and I don’t normally rush into writing a post but I’m excited about this record. Research is what writers do, part of the job; but I have decided to write about this record in the spirit of the unknown and without the interference of any information that might inform my opinion. I could pretend I know about Cooper Crain and Frippertronics and I could tell you that he loves Terry Reilly, I could even pull a quote from the Pitchfork review but none of that really matters. Objectivity is not welcome here. Provenance is important, and it can help shape your understanding, give you context and even enhance your enjoyment; but I came at this music knowing absolutely nothing about who was making it or what their motivations were and I was attracted. Instantly. Thoroughly. An album like this is why I started writing this blog. Albums likes this are a jumping off point for unfettered daydreaming and internal philosophising.


Bitchin Bajas self titled album, released only days ago on Drag City, has been my personal soundtrack for a few weeks now; watching sun diamonds sparkle on the Adriatic, people-watching in the heat, sitting drained and reflective in a late-night taxi as the world speeds by. Any kind of situation – no matter how banal or beautiful – is made otherworldly while you’re listening to this record. The music is transformative. It makes everything seem small and far away and by-passes the barrier of everyday distraction giving you a mainline to your most abstract thoughts.

On the first track Tilang, I can hear drones and organs, strings and synth and I’m reminded of early ’60s exoticism and science fiction fantasy – a strange combination and only indicative of my perspective, but at a running time of over 18 minutes, you can easily find yourself losing a good chunk of time buried in this track. I love the repetitive looping in Brush and the quiet synth meanderings of Orgone. These tracks make me feel as if I’m in a trance, but not now and not as me; but in some unspecified and blurry ’60s/’70s past. There’s loads of musical references in this record and I’m turning my back on the journalistic urge to mention or categorise them. I don’t want to find out what mode they’re using, or what culture they’re borrowing from, what unusual instrument might’ve been used. I don’t want to know any of it. I just know what it conjures in my mind and I know that it creates a reflective and peaceful ambience that I’m receptive to right now.

I really can’t think of a moment that would not be enhanced by this music. Bitchin Bajas is Cooper Crain (CAVE), Dan Quinlivan and Rob Frye. The self-titled album is their fifth release. You can buy the Bitchin Bajas double LP at Amazon and Drag City.

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