Archive for the ‘Cerulean’ Tag

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.

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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…

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.