by John Tarpley
A burned copy of "Cerulean," the debut album from electronic musician Will Wiesenfeld's glitchy alter-ego, Baths, landed in my hands last summer with a note that said something along the lines of "stop being stubborn about chillwave: this album is great." And it's true: I've managed to keep my ears out of the hyper-trendy, atmospheric pop known as "chillwave" without losing much sleep over the last couple of years. But this music is so much more expansive and, no need to split hairs, amazing than any affixed subgenre would lend you to believe. Gorgeous, laid back and full of rolling glitch beats, wobbly pitch shifts, Prince-aspiring falsetto and cut-and-paste acoustic samples, Baths at once recalls the astral soundscapes of Flying Lotus, the erudite thoroughness of The Books and the creative ferocity of the late, (beyond) great J Dilla. Live, he brings to mind a geekier, younger brother to Girl Talk. (Or just think "Death Cab for Autechre") On stage, Wiesenfeld jerks and jives in time to his beats, chopped on the spot with unbelievable dexterity on a drum machine/laptop combo. In short, this guy's a box full of surprises you don't want to miss.
Baths is joined by electronic, high-energy Sacramento act Gobble Gobble.
Check it out: "Maximallist" (live)
And hey, why not: @prefixmag literally just tweeted about an interview with Baths. Here it is.