Saturday, 4 December 2010

An Introduction to... Will Wiesenfeld

A few weeks ago, I wrote a gushing review of Baths' gig at CAMP basement in London, and since then I have been on a cyberactive treasure hunt to find old recordings from the man behind the band. In the course of this search, I have come across two really great projects of his: Geotic and Post-Foetus, both of which are really, really worth a listen.

Geotic is an experimental, ambient project which stretches back to the early months of 2008. The several recordings made under this moniker represent a distinctive contribution to Wiesenfeld's repertoire and are a testimony to his diversity as an artist. The music is gently reflective and deeply intimate, but there is something less confessional about this project which separates it from Wiesenfeld's work in Post-Foetus and Baths. Goetic's music can best be described as soundscapes, full of distorted phrases,stirring melodies and atmospheric pauses. It is music by candlelight; a soundtrack to nights awake and the hazy world between consciousness and unconsciousness, and his 2009 realease, 'Hearth', is certainly a source of comfort during these cold winter evenings.

All of Goetic's recording are available to download here

an interview for, Wiesenfeld said that his Post-Foetus project was "not necessarily defunct but I think both names are sort of amalgamating into the Baths name". In comparison with the recordings under the Geotic pseudonym, Post-Foetus is instantly recognisable as the work of Will Wiesenfeld. He creates grandiose electronic songs with pop melodies and introspective - often surreal - lyrical twists. Moving away from the spacey realm of ambient electronica, Wiesenfeld turns to a range of classical and folk instruments to produce a truly unique sound. Prime examples of this are his song 'Migration', which loops a phrase of cello music throughout, and 'Soundlight', which launches immediately into a minimalistic off-tune banjo riff before transforming into a grandiose, epic anthem to lost consciousness. 

Post-Foetus' main release, a full-length album titled 'The Fabric', establishes a lyrical and musical narrative as it progresses. The lyrics are darkly passionate and often naively abrupt, particularly when, at the start of 'It's Gonna Rock', Wiesenfeld confesses, "I sometimes wonder why I haven't killed myself already". At the end of 'Soundlight', he pleads, "Let it stay dark, where I dream just like a child. Make it like death, make it final, make it stay black like this for good". They are the product of an unsettled mind, but they also echo the sentiments of courage and endurance which are so movingly chronicled in Baths' debut album, Cerulean.

The not-quite-defunct Post-Foetus is my favorite of Wiesenfeld's main projects, but, as he stated in the interview for SeattleShowGal, Baths does not represent a permanent change in his aesthetic. I think that we can expect a slight departure from the pop melodies of Cerulean and back towards the darker mood and unconventionality of Post-Foetus in his next album. If you don't believe me, listen to his unreleased song Ocean Death, which opens with a pounding succession of droning techno beats and heavily distorted vocals and sees Wiesenfeld softly singing the tripped-out lyric, "I am the ocean". Either way, Post-Foetus is worth listening to, and provides a small glance into where Will Wiesenfeld comes from and where he's going.

You can stream the entire album here.