I would like to tell you immediately that this album does not sound like what the name of the band might imply. When I heard the band name Bitchin Bajas, I thought it would be a reggae punk album– a genre I haven’t heard before but would most assuredly enjoy. Instead Bitchin Bajas and their album 2011 Water Wrackets turned out to be an ambient depiction of water. Made up of Cooper Crain, Dan Quinlivan, and Rob Frye, this Chicagoan trio has more than more water based album having released Vibraquatic in 2012.
Water Wrackets is encompassed in a droning synth like the tides of the deep ocean as if the record as a whole is a minimalist audible scuba diving experience. “Water 1” begins light like the shallow area of the ocean when the sunshine still can cascade down and illuminate the life that is in view. dancing synth echos like the calls of pods of dolphins. Slowly an endless throbbing, synth pulsates through the entire song slowly getting deeper and carries on into the next song. The second track of the album, amply entitled “Water 2”, has a long intro mimicking the songs of whales being recorded from the depth. The pulsating synth is more ominous now. What could be toned radar beeps of a submarine build in the song until the second half where they cascade in chiptune-eske melodies.
The next track “Water 3” has a hypnotic disco vibe that grows into rhythmic groove that is in cased in the droning that perpetuates throughout the entire album. As Water Wrackets progresses it feels like you are emerging from the depths, slowly ascending into water that more sunlight can reach. “Water 2 (reprise)” is a minute long ambient electro-pop track that breaks the surface of the water to a light rain fall.
I won’t tell you that Water Wrackets is the best reggae punk album you’ve ever listened to, because as you remember from before it isn’t reggae punk. But if you know how to swim and are looking for relaxing instrumental background music for when you study this wouldn’t be a bad choice. If you’re looking to hear them live Bitchin Baja have a set on the Sunday of the Pitchfork Music Festival this July. They are suspected to play from their 2014 self titled album who’s ambient drone is designed for the listener’s full relaxation.
Listen to “Water 1” here:
Track List for Water Wracket is below:
1) Water 1
2) Water 2
3) Water 3
4) Water 4
5) Water 2 (reprise)
6) Water 1 (reprise)