In 2012, Bhatia issued two improvisation-driven recordings whose surreal sonics “set them miles apart from the vast majority of records by jazz musicians” (New York Times). But with his next project, Bhatia felt compelled to find a more personal path forward. For most of his listening life, he’d loved records in which familiar sounds were refashioned into wonderfully alien strains, where iconoclastic ideas met cutting-edge technology to yield a new lexicon. Making music like this would mean reaching beyond his six strings and customarily collaborative approach, especially his reliance on outside producers. To get where he needed to go, he would need to learn how to sculpt sound for himself.
It was during this period of reinvention that Bhatia joined Son Lux
, a studio-centered project in which producer Ryan Lott
used software to warp found sounds into dazzling electronic experiments. Son Lux
afforded Bhatia the chance to record with the likes of Lorde
and Sufjan Stevens
, but, more important, it gave him the support he needed to develop his voice as a producer—the process that ultimately yielded