Baths At Austin’s Empire Control Room

Baths live

Austin – At Empire Control Room the other night, 24-year-old electronic musician Will Wiesenfeld, aka Baths, dazzled Austinites with delicately crafted melodies. Accompanied by his live counterpart Morgan Greenwood, Baths demonstrated their skills in creating ornate music without creating clutter. Proving less is more, Baths creates beautifully arranged electronic songs with an acute attention to detail, and their live set was performed just as elegantly.

“Miasma Sky,” a track off Baths’ latest album Obsidian set the show in motion. The galactic-sounding tune was precisely executed as Wiesenfeld jumped from synthesizer to microphone and back. Blue flashing lights and projected images of clouds and other unidentifiable moving patterns made the experience that much more ethereal.

Amidst all of the movement on stage and instrument changes, the two impressively developed the layers of each song by strategically recording and looping each part. Songs began softly and simply swelled into elaborate orchestrations as the pair conducted their two-man symphony.

Throughout the show, the two would meet in the middle of the stage to adjust their respective mixing consoles across from each other on a plastic table. Flipping switches, moving slides, and turning knobs, the two were seemingly communicating via soundboard, making their collaboration that much more impressive.

With the performance of the lovely track “Phaedra,” Greenwood remained at his post on the left of the stage while assisting with back-up vocals, while Wiesenfeld alternated between center microphone and keyboard. It was amazing to observe the two direct and coordinate all of the constantly changing elements of such an intricate song. For Baths, it is the precise placement of individual sounds and effects in the song that make them so refined. The elements of the songs are constantly being reconfigured and adjusted without seeming cluttered or chaotic.

There was a refreshing kind of transparency to Wiesenfeld and his personality. It was almost as if he were performing for an old group of friends, making the set intimate and relaxed. From grinningly declaring “I had sex today!” to his no-nonsense disclaimer that they would not be doing an encore (so please don’t chant for it), the quirky frontman proved charismatic and entertaining.

(Ed., There was an encore the last time we reviewed a Baths concert!)

Though obviously frustrated by various minor technical malfunctions at times, the resilient singer recovered quickly, leaving no unnecessary delay to the set. Do not, however, mistake this for hurriedness. At one point he unashamedly restarted a song three times before moving on, in true perfectionist fashion.

Not all of the songs were light and airy, however. “Earth Death” was performed with the same severity that its raging instrumentation demanded.

The pair ended the set with their final selection, “No Eyes,” leaving Wiesenfeld to passionately scream the song’s last line. Never would I have thought that the lyrics “Come and fuck me” could be so gripping. The song’s driving pulse is one of blind determination, not stopping for anything, while the erratic melody continues to tease it.

Screaming or not, this certainly won’t be the last we will be hearing from Baths.

Ruth Griffin

Ruth Griffin

Hailing from Austin, TX, Ruth Griffin is best known for being a music lover. With a degree in English, she also enjoys writing. And with these two passions combined, Ruth is living the dream and writing about music. She has previously written for, has worked at the Texas Music Office, and has twice volunteered at SXSW. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, playing sudoku, and watching Arrested Development on repeat.
Ruth Griffin

Latest posts by Ruth Griffin (see all)