Anyone who attended the Pitchfork Music Festival may remember the cheerful, intoxicating music of Baths, otherwise known as Will Wiesenfield. Baths is Wiesenfeld’s day job, generating buoyant and crisp beats worthy of dancing, while Geotic is very appropriately the night job, as the sound is much more demure and dark.
During the Pitchfork Music Festival, we asked Wiesenfeld to explain his style to people who hadn’t heard it. “I have a sentence!” he exclaimed, laughing at his ready explanation. “I say it’s songwriting from an electronic perspective, in that I’m incorporating very standard things like verse-chorus-verse and human subject matter and that sort of thing, but that the palette of sound is much different than a normal song.” That palette varies between Baths and Geotic, but with the latter, the sound is undeniably ambient.
The word “ambient” can cause many electronic music skeptics to gag, in that it infers ambiguity in structure and sound. Geotic certainly isn’t punctuated, but contrary to convention, its drifting melodies do float within some sort of bubble. Rather than spilling all over the place, Wiesenfeld has managed to take control of his exalted sound, making it more absorbable.
If that effect doesn’t occur, though, the least Geotic will do is lull you into an electronic coma. Muted guitar riffs and soft plunks on the keyboard act as a sort of sedative. The phrases are cut bluntly, which may seem unprofessional for an electronic artist, but actually sounds more deliberate and artful. The loop repetition is clear and all the more hypnotizing.
One thing that is solidified for Wiesenfeld is—oddly enough—change. “I think I’m going to try for something much darker…there are a lot of song concepts and lyrics that I’ve been dwelling on for a long time…that I need to make now before I get way too happy,” Wiesenfeld said. He was adamant on trying to explain his desire for sound evolution, proclaiming that “With any artist, people have all these assumptions about who you are and all the music you’re going to put out and how it’s going to sound. And I’m going to work very hard on establishing myself as a singular entity.” (Maureen Clancy)
August 12 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 North Lincoln, (773)525-2508, 10pm. $12. 18+.