by / May 4th, 2011 /

Baths – The Workman’s Club, Dublin

The appearance of Cerulean last summer marked a high-water point in the year’s releases. Sunny, glitchy, emotive and, most of all, fun, it captured a precocious talent in a flush of joyous creativity. That gifted youth was Will Wiesenfeld, a 21-year old from Los Angeles. With all the brio of a man unencumbered by the weight of tradition, he set about welding post-Dilla hip-hop techniques onto a gloriously emotional falsetto voice and the results were spectacular. In the eleven months since it was released Wiesenfeld has toured extensively, though he had yet to make it to these shores. Thankfully, that was remedied in a wedged Workman’s Club.

Upbeat and exuberant from the beginning, Wiesenfeld goes a long way towards breaking the tendency of electronic artists to be relatively boring on stage. While it is no doubt difficult to get away with typical rock-band antics when you’ve a multitude of samplers and/or laptops on the go, the Baths setup is minimal, allowing Weisenfeld the opportunity to play with the crowd, dance and generally be fun to watch as much as listen to. He exudes no small amount of charm, with the instant likability that is so present in his music just as clear in person. Tracks from Cerulean mix into each other seamlessly. They are mashed up, extended and effected on the spot, breathing new life and energy into the songs. Where the album is a subtle construction built for careful listening, these songs are ready for the floor in their live incarnations; the beats are stronger, the vocals are more direct and the loops are let run themselves out. It’s a great example of an artist challenging himself, and his audience, to find something new in every performance.

There was a ton of new tracks dropped throughout the set and even a diversion into some filthy trance style noise for a little while and it all combined to keep you guessing. It was never clear where the music would go next and this made the appearance of a familiar piano line or beat from Cerulean all the more exciting. In the end it was those tracks that stood out as highlights, from opener ‘Apologetic Shoulderblades’ to the utterly jubilant sing-along of ‘You’re My Excuse To Travel’, but the directions being explored in the previously unheard songs hint at deliciously interesting developments for the future.

Photos: Kieran Frost

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