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03/05/14 Washed Out & Baths – A Sonic Soaking in Manila

Immersion in the organic could be electronic music’s redemption. For Ernest Greene, who records under the name Washed Out, relocating to a rural part of Georgia had inspired the refreshing range of vintage synths he uses on his second album, Paracosm (2013). Among 50 different instruments he recorded with, old keyboards steep Washed Out’s sound in a dreamy daze‑the sonic equivalent of being captivated by the sea’s sun-drenched blues en route to an island vacation. Mixing live drums and bass with samplings of of nature and nostalgia (the sound of kids’ laughter, for example), Washed Out offers to douse listeners in real electronic uplift.

Likewise, more palpable—at some points even painful—emotion emerges from the music of Will Wiesenfeld, who performs as Baths. Human connection, from its sweet whispers to carnal surrender, is a recurrent theme in Baths’s music, expressed through trembling vocals and offbeat instrumental layers. This is the stuff of desire, longing, and much pondering. It’s music to shut your eyes to as you wash your sexual sins away in a tub.

With heart-wrenching vocal samples and synths that aim for the soul, these artists manage to stimulate both psyche and sexuality, leading to a more organic wave in electronic music. It’s certainly something to let ears soak in and surrender to—an opportunity offered by Instatella Burst and Fred Perry Philippines, which is bringing the artists around for a concert tomorrow, March 6.