The singer, who performs as Baths, reassesses his work as a producer and a performer of electronica.
It’s 3 o’clock on a bright February afternoon inside a downtown Los Angeles grocery store, and Will Wiesenfeld is on a quest. ”I’m addicted to this insane Japanese gum,” said the 21-year-old Chatsworth-based producer and singer as he searched the aisles of jelly-flecked soft drinks and exotic candies in a Little Tokyo market.
For the last year he’s released his woozy, love-struck electronica under the name Baths. But at that moment, he was in pursuit of a more immediate pleasure. “You have to try this. I’ve never tasted anything like it,” he said.
Alas, the gum never turned up. But Wiesenfeld’s unlikely rise to the upper echelon of L.A.’s thrilling experimental “beat music” scene, a loose collection of artists centered on the Low End Theory club night, has been all about such searches for rare and unexpected joys.
His sold-out headlining set at the Troubadour on Saturday comes after a year of heavy touring on his debut album, “Cerulean,” and a thorough reassessment of what he and his fast-moving music are capable of. Baths is in many ways the opposite of L.A.’s often brilliant but frequently scatterbrained beat scene. But he also might be one of its best — and most unexpected — hopes for a breakout pop star.
Among peers who make throttling, bass-heavy dubstep, “Cerulean” was shimmering, falsetto-strewn makeout music. In a scene full of straight male fans looking for the most intense drum machine fix they can find, Wiesenfeld is an out gay man with glasses and heavy sideburns whose idea of dance-floor lasciviousness on “Cerulean” is to extol a lover’s “Apologetic Shoulderblades” or “Lovely Bloodflow.”
“Most pop music is all about [sex] today, and in my music I’ve always had a reverence for the human body,” Wiesenfeld said. “I always rooted it in Bjork’s ‘Cocoon.’ That’s a very sexy song, but it’s also very tailored.”