November 2, 2010

Baths is a musical artist that connects the discussions between sound design to manipulate perceptions of space and electronic music as a manipulation of found sounds. The electronic work of 21 year-old Will Weisenfeld, in this way, is two-fold. Not only has the Chatsworth native used his electronic instruments to create textured layers of both found and created noise, but he has used this noise to create a soundscape that is worlds away from the rock-and-dust landscape of the western San Fernando Valley. Baths’ Myspace page shows a clear visual aesthetic of grass, trees, water, open space and serenity. Blues and greens of every calming shade abound and pair up with the altered time signatures and dense mix of pen clicks, running water, glitches and boom-bip sounds that combine to make the somehow bright and airy soundscape of Baths.

Growing up the next town over from Weisenfeld, however, gives me a personal attachment to Baths’ output. As a teenager, I wanted nothing more than to escape the dry, bland (and, for me, anxiety-inducing) grid-streets of the SFV and apparently Weisenfeld did too. But instead of moving away after high school and attempting to find a space that is comfortable and calm as I did (Long Beach!), the young man behind baths decided to hole up in his parent’s house and create his own world–a sonic one that can be used as an escape hatch to some far off lush Oriental faerie-filled land where samurais drip blood through green forests until pristine white female versions of the Donnie Darko bunny lay him down and suck perriwinkle smoke out of his orifices until he is given back to the decomposing earth (which is much better than a mid-July day stuck in the Valley).

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