Dig Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Takes A Bath

By Pat Gunther

The Baton Rouge music scene is one that has a distinct taste and preference. The popularity of indie-rock, hip-hop and country is a constant factor even in the shifting musical palate of today’s college students. The Edinburgh-based collective Young Fathers, however, is not subjected to these narrow constraints.

Comprised of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and ‘G’ Hastings, Young Fathers blends facets of hip-hop, UK grime and traditional African dance music to produce an experimental, yet sonically enticing sound.After their first two EPs Tape One and Tape Two received much admiration from critics and fans alike, Young Fathers released their first full length LP Dead in Jan. of 2014.

BATHS & Young Fathers
Saturday, April 12th With Special Guest Little Goliath
Doors open at 9PM
Tickets are $13 in Advance and $15 Day of Show
Available at The Spanish Moon on Highland Rd. or at ticketweb.com

“Generally, when we recorded Tape One and Tape Two, we didn’t have the money to afford a studio,” Alloysious Massaquoi of Young Fathers said. “I think that really influenced our production, and now that we can afford certain things it’s different.”

Dead blends the unique, grime-influenced Young Fathers sound with poignant lyrics, and enchanting harmonies that leave one with no choice but to bob their head. The refined quality of Dead however has not compromised their drive to create. “I’d describe us as very, very, very passionate,” Massaquoi said.

It’s that passion and energy that is ever-present in each one of their songs, whether on their first two tapes or their newest studio release. The signature Young Fathers’ sound – which Massaquoi describes as “everything and nothing” – is a reflection of their incredible blend of emotion and thought that is glaringly evident in their songs.

Though their influences are far-reaching, Young Fathers remain true to their eclectic backgrounds, drawing from Massaquoi and Bankole’s African heritage, while connecting the group’s similar experiences from growing up in Edinburgh.

This interesting blend of sounds and tones, though foreign to the Red Stick’s tastes, makes for an incredible stage-presence and energy at their shows. Young Fathers’ combination of passion and energy is an integral part to who they are.

The group, who has been working together since they were 14, implements those emotions of the dingy Edinburgh basement where their first works were produced. Their sound is dark, tinged with electronic influences, and above all, different from anything you’ve heard before.

Prior to taking the stage, Young Fathers harps upon the staple of their work: spontaneity and emotion. “There’s not really much talking you know,” Massaquoi said. “We know what we’re gonna do, and were passionate about it. As soon as that music kicks in, we let everything go and get in our zone.”

Much like Young Fathers, Will Wiesenfeld – better known as Baths – is a shining example of maintaining a personal style. The Woodland Hills resident released his first LP Cerulean for Anticon Records in 2010.

Baths’ signature framework of spacey synths, melodic tones and harmonic vocal loops is most present on his debut record. This unique sound that has acted as his personal brand has been ever evolving and present in both of his follow up records.

The 2013 release of Obsidian continued with the same theme of his debut project. Though more energetic from the get-go, Obsidian provides listeners with haunting beats and melodic string work. Layered on top of soft synths, Obsidian seems to invite a personal look inside Baths’ psyche at the time he recorded the LP.

Obsidian is, by nature, concurrent with Baths’ consistent style, but brings further insight into the talented young Californians mindset on topics such as life, love and spirituality.

The energy, particularly, is what becomes increasingly apparent as one listens to his second studio LP. Baths’ painstaking attention to detail draws listeners into each part of the song, all while transitioning from areas of high energy to more mellowed out spaces.

By bringing the audience through a wide array of sonic progressions, Baths crafts a world that is clearly his own, yet relatable to anyone within earshot. Though a person may not be able to identify with explicit messages in some tracks, the tones and instrumentation sets the mood for each track.

When the prodigious musician takes the stage at the Spanish Moon, you can be certain he will come prepared with an expansive repertoire of songs that appeal to differing musical tastes. Though you may not enjoy everything he does, you can be sure that Baths will shower his audience with impressive vibrancy and create the desire for everyone present to get lost in his incredible world of music.

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