In 2013, Will Wiesenfeld released his second record under the Baths moniker, 'Obsidian', which saw him turn away from the bright and playful glitch-pop of 'Cerulean' into darker and more abrasive electronic sounds, moulded into proper songs. 'Ocean Death' is an EP of leftovers made around the same time that hint at the recent direction of his live show, which shows reverence for a more straight-and-narrow, pounding techno aesthetic that's heavy on rhythm and repition, while returning to the brighter, poppier aesthetic of the early Baths days, when he'd sample anime. If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Wiesenfeld did a record of Four Tet covers, you now have your answer. Sort of.
Tracks:Ocean Death Fade White Voyeur Orator Yawn
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Will Wiesenfeld’s in his baths guise with an EP of material from the same fertile period that produced last year’s ‘Obsidian’. Throughout the record, Wiesenfield deftly combines his falsetto vocals (that broach some pretty melancholic subject matter), with rich melodic arrangements cut through with shards of hard electronica and some ruthless edits.
My favourite is the opening title track with its brooding, glitch-techno groove that eventually sprouts luxuriant ambient shimmers and overlapping vocal melodies; moving from hard minimalism to baroque expansiveness. The rest of the EP shows off the impressive range of Wiesenfield’s skills as songwriter, arranger and producer, as the songs develop in imaginative ways that somehow remind me of artists like David Sylvian and Kate Bush, without him ever sounding like either. While this is a little too overproduced and way too sophisticated for my crude tastes, this is well worth checking out if you like experimental pop with emotional depth that’s brimming with ideas.
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