Archive for the ‘Baths’ Tag

Clams Casino: Realist Alive

A friend recently suggested that I check out an artist called Clams Casino, guessing that his music would appeal to me, he wasn’t wrong. It is only after reading James Vincent McMorrow’s description of Casino’s music over on Nialler9 that I gave him a try. Mike Volpe is a 23-year old hip-hop producer from New Jersey who performs as ‘Clams Casino’, his raw beats blended with atmospheric effects have laid the foundations for rappers such as Soulja Boy, Lil B and A$AP Rocky to gain acclaim.

Earlier this year he released Instrumental Mixtape for free download. Like Will Wisenfeld of Baths and Aaron Jerome aka SBTRKT, Volpe has, in my opinion, managed to hit the nail on the head in terms of finding the perfect balance of the various sounds currently finding favour among electronic music producers and fans.

Tune of Today

From his astonishing 2010 album to his brilliant recent show in Dublin, I’ve had plenty of good things to say about Will Wisenfeld aka Baths. Pop Music/False B-sides is Baths latest offering. It’s not exactly the follow-up album to Cerulean, Wisenfeld has a bundle of new songs on his hands, some of which he dropped at the Workman Club, Pop Music/False B-sides is a collection of these songs. It lacks the cohesion of Cerulean, the slower tunes are much more melodic while the experimental numbers have extra bleepy effects. While not the complete album, it rarely misfires and has undeniable moments of beauty, like this.

Gig: Baths and Solar Bears

It basically couldn’t have been a bad gig. I mean, it was Baths and Solar Bears. On a personal level Cerulean was by a distance my favourite album of 2010 while She Was Coloured in took the honour of favourite Irish album of the year (how it evaded Choice Music Prize nomination I’ll never know). Dublin’s funky Workman’s Club was suitably busy for such an appetising line-up and on entry the danceable beats of Solar Bears were audible. An infectious case of head nod swept across those assembled appreciating the clean sound. A personal highlight was single Dolls which ended the Leinster duo’s unerring set.

And then came the main event, Will Wiesenfeld, aka Baths, made his understated entrance but couldn’t escape the onslaught of cheers and applause as the crowd refused to let him slip straight into the formalities. He was quite obviously taken aback by the reception. I had actually shared a few words with him during the Solar Bears set and he was as friendly and nice as his music is engaging. There’s always the fear that a solo electronic artist will not offer enough presence to entertain a big crowd but this certainly wasn’t the case last Friday. With Cerulean only accounting for about half of the set the new tunes kept the fans guessing while some nice touches to the established favourites added freshness to the set. Will himself immersed himself into the show hopping, bopping and singing like it was his last ever show. There was also just the right amount of crowd interaction and humour to tie the set together.

Sublime. If you don’t believe me, here’s proof…

Artist: MOTHS

A lot of college work coupled with some unforseen internet complications (which continue, damn you upc) have seen me neglect this auld yoke. Worst of all has been my limited access to the sites and blogs I gleefully waste all my time on browsing for new music. As a result my 2011 has gotten off to a slow start musically, but one artist I couldn’t escape from is MOTHS aka Jack Colleran. A few mentions on Nialler9 as well as other blogs have people talking about this very talented 17-year-old from Kildare. He’s nailed down a sumptuous Baths meets Gold Panda blend of glitch/electronic. Astonishing as his age is, it’d be a disservice to judge his tunes solely within that context, this is just damn good chill out music. Check out his soundcloud for more.

Here’s his hazy remix of Passion Pit’s Little Secrets.

 

Gig: Baths & Solar Bears

What’s my definition of a good night out? Well take my current favourite international act Baths, put him on stage with my favourite Irish act at the moment Solar Bears and we’re on the right track. The Workman’s Club in Dublin plays host to these electronic tricksters on the 29th of April. I’ve got my ticket, get yours at tickets.ie.

Playlist: Music Library 24-01-2011

The Music Library is an alternative music show which airs on Flirtfm 101.3, Galway’s alternative student station Monday-Friday between 8 and 9 am. I take charge of the tunes on Mondays. Todays show was celebration of the heights of 2010 with a selection of tunes off my’ Top Songs’ post below. No podcast unfortunately.

Baths – Lovely Bloodflow
Foals – Spanish Sahara
Tanlines – Real Life
Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em
Four Tet – Angel Echoes
Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis
Glasser – Apply
Crystal Castles – Celestica
How to Dress Well – You Won’t Need Me Where I’m Goin’
Mount Kimbie – Before I Move Off
Liars – Scissor
Two Door Cinema Club – Undercover Martyn
Warpaint – Undertow
Kendal Johansson – Blue Moon

Album: Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner

As we enter what is very much the business end of the year for album releases countless music bloggers and writers are readying their generic but oh-so-personal’ Best of 2010 lists’. Those who have prematurely completed their lineups may be forced to shuffle things around when they get a hold of Gold Panda’s Lucky Shiner. The Essex born electronic musician has produced one of the years’ most engaging and rich experimental works.

Inspired by the emptiness and isolation Panda experienced when working in Japan for a year, the 11 tracks are carefully crafted and aligned. Powerful and colourful images spring from the lush soundscapes offered on Lucky Shiner. The tag ‘experimental’ is so widely abused it’s almost redundant at this stage but Gold Panda’s latest LP actually earns the label. Opener ‘You’ is a Bath-esque head bopping, glitch-hop beauty which runs into ‘Vanilla Minus’ a celebration of electronica which would fit snuggly into any four tet set. Just to eradicate any possibility of pigeon-holding track three ‘Parents’ is two minutes of beautifully understated acoustic guitar set against breezy outdoor effects.

Lucky Shiner, like so much of contemporary electronic music centres on swirling synths and varied percussion with loops and samples making their customary appearances. What separates Gold Panda from the masses is his patience. He allows the many different limbs of his songs come together at their own pace. You’ll struggle to find a more emotional and fitting curtain closer than the ghostly’ You.’ Inspired by the pain of solitude, Gold Panda has created an electronic album that makes for great company.

http://soundcloud.com/acid-stag/05-snow-taxis

Playlist: Music Library 08-11-2010

The Music Library is an alternative music show which airs on Flirtfm 101.3, Galway’s alternative student station Monday-Friday between 8 and 9 am. I take charge of the tunes on Mondays

The Bloody Beetroots – Warp 1.9
Adebisi Shank – Logdrum
Nosaj Thing – Lords
Baths – Animals
And So I Watch You From Afar – A Little bit of Solidarity Goes a Long way
Sideproject – Outpatients
Crookers ft. Carrie Wilds – Have Mercy
Crystal Castles – Alice Practice
Vitalic – Still
Solar Bears – Crystaline (Be Again)
Tanlines – Real Life
Toro y Moi – Minors
Viallgers – Home

Playlist: Music Library 1-11-2010

The Music Library is an alternative music show which airs on Flirtfm 101.3, Galway’s alternative student station Monday-Friday between 8 and 9 am. I take charge of the tunes on Mondays.

Sleigh Bells -Tell Em
Janelle Monae – Cold War
Arcade Fire – Rococo
Baths – Indoorsy
Best Coast – When I’m With You
Hooray for Humans – Signature
BATS – Higgs Boson Particle
Boysnoize – Frau ft. I Robot
Mount Kimbie – Before I Move Off
Fake Blood – Fix Your Accent
How to Dress Well – You Won’t Need me Where I’m Going
M.I.A. – XXXO
Nouveaunoise – Pyschasonic
Super Extra Bonus Party – Comets (ft. Heathers)
Waiting Room – Denis
Robyn – Dancehall Queen

Album: Baths – Cerulean

The 14 tracks on Cerulean boast a maturity and musical intuition beyond what can be expected from a 21-year-old. However when we consider that Will Wisenfeld (Baths) has spent the majority of the last decade making music and honing his particular brand of electronic hip-hop, under the name [Post-Foetus], not to mention the ambient venture Geotic, things become somewhat clearer. Like dubstep, glitch-hop has enjoyed a speedy rise in popularity among the online indie community thanks to the work of producers such as Flying Lotus and Daedelus. Throughout Cerulean, Wisenfeld makes his own mark in a genre over-populated by producers trying too hard to stand out. Ironically by adopting a more refined approach Baths has created the genre’s outstanding album.

While others producers maintain a distance with the listener Wisenfeld has harnessed his songwriting skills to add a personal touch to Cerulean. The anthemic ‘Lovely Bloodflow’ possess the features prevalent throughout the album. A simple hip-hop kick-snare lays the foundation for Wisenfeld to build on with clicks and jumpy vocals accompanied by leafy effects to add weight to the lyrics “kick up my shit you wanna, rustle these leaves.” Ponderous as these words may be the sentiment behind the tune is more obvious when the beat lowers to allow Wisenheld proclaim in a high pitched melody “you are my bloodflow.”

Clocking 50 minutes Cerulean may seem a bit imposing but in truth you could double that length and not tire of the album. Wisenfeld has mastered the elusive art of creating a cohesive compilation which flows perfectly from start to finish but avoids the trap sounding repetitive. His command and understanding of instrumentation comes to the fore in ‘♥’ which only introduces an electronic beat after a haunting piano and guitar intro is brought to a halt by Wisenfeld’s ghostly vocals. This is also the most revelatory track dealing with the life he has left behind in his suburban hometown;  “Met in the night like it was wrong, laugh at the life left now that we’re gone, I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I love you too much”

Wisenfeld’s greatest achievement on Cerulean is to incorporate so many things without making it sound remotely cramped or forced. The bass gets cranked up in ‘Mximalist’, ‘Mecha Joy’ and the wonderful ‘Indoorsy’ providing a more customary glitch-hop sound synonymous with artists like Flylo and Nosaj Thing. Throughout Cerulean effective use is made of vocals samples, from the M83-esque slow burner ‘Seaside Town’ to the album’s ultimate feel good, danceable number ‘Animals’. ‘Hall’ brings the album to a fitting close projecting a blend of loops, soft vocals and layered effects to give the end as optimistic a feel as ‘Apologetic Shoulderblades’ provided at track 1.