Will Wiesenfeld, a.k.a. Baths, breathes Twitter. He is the Internet’s busiest bird. Making his thoughts seen on Twitter 24/7, Wiesenfeld entertains his followers with strange humour, random facts about his encounters and very often, links his Instagram pictures with his tweets. Wiesenfeld does sound pretty quirky doesn’t he? In fact, his Facebook genre description shows “♥ ヽ(´ー｀)ノ ♥”.
The man of such character and music was an interesting one to catch. Once again, after executing a well-organised show at Foals, Symmetry Entertainment was back within the walls of the music shelter along the Singapore River. Holding on to its recognition for great underground acts, Home Club was an excellent venue for Baths, so much that Wiesenfeld gave a commendation on the club’s outstanding sound.
Gathering the crowd in union with their gift for poetic-atmospheric music, [.gif] opened for Baths, warming the crowd with passionate vocals accompanied by synth-heavy ambience. The performance was tasteful and never did it neglect the captivating vocals that Weish had to offer. Expressing her gratitude and excitement at the end of [.gif]’s set, Weish revealed that they were “freaking honoured” to be opening for Baths, which impelled a hint of a smile on Greenwood’s face who was standing at the back of the club.
Not making too much of a scene, Wiesenfeld and his band partner, Morgan Greenwood, quietly prepared the equipment left scattered around the tiny stage. It almost felt like a routine, a step-by-step setup or maybe pre-gig habits of pulling cables and their instruments together in preparation to hit their first note. As the backtrack began, the audience that wasn’t moving just yet anticipated for the intensity of music to increase along with the mounting energy being developed by each synthetic beat. ‘Miasma Sky’ struck a certain level of excellence when the intended pause in the composition gradually created an upsurge to Wiesenfeld’s vocals. Unlike Wiesenfeld’s slightly insecure introduction at his Boiler Room set in 2012 and rigidness at the recent NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, his comportment this time round displayed confidence.
With each band member having their drum machines facing one another, there was a sort of musical interplay with inserts of distortion and glitches between songs. Even though Greenwood’s Telecaster was rather unnoticeable in its volume, there was a definite interaction between both band members that staged great presence and creativity. ‘Lovely Bloodflow’ was performed with a minimal concept that focused a lot on Wiesenfeld’s vocals and the syncopated rhythm that was repeated in the electronically constructed composition.
There were instances in the gig where Wiesenfeld had decided to let loose and embrace improvisation. Whether people noticed it or not, he did admit that he was improvising at some point and apologised for the “mess” that to be honest, sounded amazing. The earnestness heard in his voice in ‘No Eyes’ was probably the most meaningful thing in his set. In the audio recording of ‘No Eyes’, Wiesenfeld gently sang in a tone that much signifies a vulnerable man in need for human touch. As far as vulnerability was identified during the gig, Wiesenfeld displayed a character enraged by these emotions as he shouted in a deeper voice “come and fuck me”. Moving in a circular motion with a haughty spirit leaping out of the stage, his presence emitted live to the audience and it was exactly this sort of honesty in a performance that many look for in a gig.
There were definitely moments of immense intensity and with such moments were the abrupt silence after many songs performed. It was somewhat strange to end a piece of music when it was at its peak but that was also a way of simply subverting the conventional standards of a gig. Without an encore or much to converse about, Wiesenfeld thanked the crowd in a genuine tone and went back to packing the equipment. Nothing more than the music, Baths had given a great performance. Thinking of it now…I would consider Wiesenfeld to be a lot more interactive compared to the other electronic acts I’ve caught!
By Shawn Ng