Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties”

Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie “Prince” BillyBitchin_Bajas-Bonnie_Prince_Billy-2016-Epic_Jammers
Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties
DRAG CITY
8/10

Bitchin Bajas are responsible for some of the most zoned-out, hypnotic releases in recent memory. Last year’s combination release with National Information Society (a.k.a. improv jazz head Joshua Abrams) was a full-bodied muscular mix that, with use of flutes and Moroccan instruments, went a bit beyond the group’s initial synth-based waves. Now, they’ve coupled up with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who gives the group some vocal lines to weave magic around. It feels more like BPB trying to fit his particular style to theirs—working in repetitive phrases and chant-like melodies under and over rolls of bucolic bliss. What’s surprising here is not just how well the two sound together, but the heretofore-unknown third element that arises when they combine. A track like “May Life Throw You a Pleasant Curve” is largely just that sentence repeated lightly, but his signature creak—backed by a cyclical mixture of plucked instruments and woodwinds—helps take this—and just about every—track into a spiritual, lush, and spaced-out-to-the-gills special place.

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