Spain’s Abstrakce Records double down on their Encyclopedia Of Civilizations series. Following on from a split drop by Jonas Reinhardt and Jürgen Müller that imagined Ancient Egypt in sound, the lost city of Atlantis now gets a similar treatment from Bitchin Bajas (once) and DSR Lines (thrice). DSRL goes for a sort of Devo/Vangelis thing, while BB’s ‘Diaspora’ is a long synth experiment that recalls Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s Abstractions.
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The Encyclopedia of Civilisations is a fanciful project in which a couple artists come together to do a split of quasi-archaeology on an ancient civilization shrouded in mythos. For their second edition they’ve invited Bitchin Bajas -- the band of weirdos it seems that everyone has on speed dial -- and DSR Lines, moog and modular student to the stars. With the record’s booklet you can go deep into a world of Poseidon and sunken cities, but it’s also good fun just listening to the instrumental impressions laid down by these cosmic nerds.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that Bitchin Bajas are the sequel to the new weird america scene we never got: their mix of folkloric playing and oscillating synths is an absolute treat on this record, their rhythmic synth met with drowsy ambient textures and randomly interspersed flute solos. They dramatically segue into a waspy noise juncture in the vein of S. Araw, the flute sounds glitching out like a computer error into a swarm of bitty hardware breakage. The prettiness of their track remains as new age arpeggios scatter through the room, proving Bitchin Bajas to be sweethearts first, oddities second.
This DSR Lines stuff, though… it positively glistens. Rarely are synth hobbyists so euphoric and visceral with their sounds, but it sounds like this one wants to beam his sounds through space, his fingers smashing down on the keys ‘til they produce the shiniest, most aspirational of sounds. The organ tones of “Panorama” are bucolic, offering outdoorsy soundscapes with all the exploratory ambition of this recording project. “Lineage” is a gorgeous, trundling piece with keys waterfalling in a seemingly endless flow. Certainly worth getting to know, regardless of your historical pursuits.
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- The Encyclopedia Of Civilizations: Atlantis by Bitchin Bajas / DSR Lines
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