Published Aug 26, 2014One rarely thinks of ambient music as being exciting, since that's not really the point of the genre, but convention has never been a tenet of the Bitchin Bajas' philosophy. Following up Cooper Crain and Dan Quinlivan's 2013 release Bitchitronics, the Chicago-based duo's eponymous album is equally relaxing and exhilarating. Its effortless, meditative qualities are balanced by deceptively complex textures, distinguished by a myriad of intriguing timbres, both synthetic and sampled, and the sophisticated processing that blends them. With the playfully strummed strings come jazz synth and flute melodies melting into a sitar-esque drone in "Tilang," while the surreal melding of bird song and flute into synthetic outer space sounds over a subtle drone on "Field Study" feels as if it's performed live every time you hear them.
All the little things, like the subtle squeak and churn of tapes on "Pieces of Tape," or the organ drone and saxophone gradually being usurped by Kosmische synth arpeggiation and vibrant sax flourishes on "Bueu," come together to enhance a kind of wordless storytelling. Shimmering, slowly evolving, yet deep and richly layered, each moment breaks down into complex pieces, but the whole remains as much comforting as it is awe-inspiring. Bitchin. (Drag City)