Album Review

Bitchin Bajas – “Krausened” – [Permanent Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/22/2013   12-inch, A Library

Riddle me this, when are side-long pieces not long enough?
A: When the Bitchin Bajas get on the sonic autobahn with a
full tank of premium grade synthesizers! This works for
old (Neu!) and young (Sonic the Hedgehog) fans a like.
My son, who has no klues about krautrock, came bopping in
and digging “Intervals” with 8-bit delight. But the
recording here has a lot more depth and analog warmth.
Sounds roll off the turnable, and spin their little
mantra motorik rhythms, but the cool thing is how Cooper Crain
and Dan Quinlivan add up the layers on these beatcakes.
And while live would likely help with entrancing effects,
sometimes sounds get evened out during a live performance
whereas these two recordings do a great job of rollercoasting
and even drifting through some near death patches where
sounds thin out. The complexity in simplicity rises.
“Intervals” feels more like telephony building an interlaced
web of sound, but a shifting anapestic beat sort of surges
out of the electronics. I’ll always find myself singing
meaningless words by the end of the song, the most recent
version “I ate the potato” cycling that phrase or whatever
bubbled up (an earlier version was “You Really Got Me” as
if the Kinks were kaptured by Krafwerk.) Anyways, the title cut
“Krausened” starts out with an electronic tanpura dreaming
of its lover the flute,eventually the tanpura hitchhikes a ride on
the freeway staring at the white dashes on the freeway,
blurring into white lines, faster and faster tunneling through sound
and strobing colors (spritzing arpeggios spraypaint the tunnel).
Quite a ride…now play it in reverse.
-Thurston Hunger

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