Baths: Fade White
Will Wiesenfeld (Baths) is someone I would describe as being a sound magician. Classically trained, he is the perfect example of the theory that you have to know the rules in order to break them. The way he uses samples and tinkers with sound, with his wavering falsetto and his perfect grasp on when to keep it light and when to dive straight in to the depths of despair, are what set him above all other electronic musicians, in my humble and un-trained opinion.
I have been following Baths for a few years now, and no not just on Twitter (definitely not creepy). I first heard "Lovely Bloodflow" a while back, and after playing it over, and over, and over, and over again in the car, decided it was time to go and do some research on the guy. To be honest, the man behind the music was not what I expected at all, and obviously that made me all the more intrigued.
His second album Obsidian hit me last year at a time when I needed it most. A lot of people I have spoken to said that it was too dark or depressing for them, or that they prefer Cerulean. I don't know what that says about me personally, but it was probably one of, if not my top albums of 2013. He created the album after being bed-ridden with a horrible bout of E. coli, channelling all of his frustrations, angers, emotions, depressions and desires in to his music. I'm normally a fairly happy and positive person, and I don't want to get too depressing and personal, but I feel like that is kind of appropriate when describing this album. I associate Obsidian with sitting on a bus, riding through east London in the rain towards Homerton hospital where I had been bed-ridden with Pneumonia, a collapsed lung, and some weird lymph node infection. There was something about the emotion and frustration, and the overall dark theme of the whole album that I unfortunately could really relate to.
His music is not for the faint-hearted. The theme of death is one that is reoccurring. His lyrics are morbid, but so poetic and introspective that they allow you to draw your own meaning from them. This, to me, is what true art is about.
His latest release "Fade White" starts as a soothing ballad that then floats across an unsteady pulse as he tells us to 'fade to white' with him. I don't know how others interpret this, but to me fading to white sounds like a peaceful release, almost like how story-tellers describe spirits or the dead 'crossing over' and being at rest. From what I've heard of his upcoming album Ocean Death so far, it seems like these are the last remaining snippets of a dark period for Wiesenfeld, and that all that morbid loneliness, and those notions of death, will soon fade away into the whiteness.
Ocean Death is out Tuesday May 6, and if you haven't already heard the title track - you can stream it here.