Release Date: Nov 17, 2017
Record label: Drag City
Following collaborations with Bonnie Prince Billy, Natural Information Society, and filmmaker Olivia Wyatt, as well as a short album titled Transporteur, Bajas Fresh is the second Drag City-issued double album from Chicago's cosmic drone unit Bitchin Bajas, after 2014's self-titled effort. This format seems to work best for the Bajas, as they're able to stretch out and create their most unencumbered material. Bajas Fresh melds electronic and organic instruments more thoroughly than their past works, with percussion making a greater presence this time around.
Cooper Crain once crystallized the Bitchin Bajas ethos with a simple question: "If you find a good loop that can hold its own musically, then why not use it?" That philosophy has served his group well for going on seven years, and has recently proven just as effective in collaboration. Through work with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Natural Information Society, Olivia Wyatt, and Haley Fohr's Jackie Lynn, Bitchin Bajas expanded their sound and prodded their partners to do the same. Credit the trio's knack for finding good loops and knowing how to use them.
A few weeks back I finally got around to watching and listening to last year's Pink Floyd boxset, focusing on the band's first years until just before The Dark Side Of The Moon. It's obviously a reach to say that the keyboard experimentalists Bitchin Bajas have a parallel career so far, but there is one spot of connection. In much the same way that Pink Floyd spent much of their early days doing everything from commissioned film soundtracks to a variety of artistic collaborations, Bitchin Bajas have spent the three years since their last formal, self-titled release on Drag City doing similarly.