I lay in bed for what seemed like years, stocking up on a forgotten amount of dreams, depressed that I was powerless to be productive, and browsing the internet as if it contained the secret to life. Not that the internet does not have the secret to life per say (it is the secret to life). This is unfortunately how I spent my first spring break of the semester. Yea, I did also do social things – but I was the only one with spring break, great timing SUNY system… And yes we here at SUNY binghamton also have two spring breaks this year… part 2 will be in 3 weeks. Maybe I’ll get off my lazy ass and write a novel.
And as a result of the excitement of finishing my album last weekend (…it’s not finished, the crutches of perfectionism), I missed my section on this blog! : (
But that means I’ll write two sections this weekend! : )
I learned about the artist named Baths in a very peculiar manner. Sometime last summer a childhood friend of mine visited. I think the last time I saw him was when I was like 14. He, at 12, moved to Poland and later to Chicago, from were he now was visiting.
I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out that we shared many of the same musical likes, and we proceeded to share artists. Lo and behold he was a polish hipster like me! I was only a little skeptical when he told me that he knew someone that knew Flying Lotus, but was very impressed when he invited me to this underground music sharing website which I didn’t mention just now.
And so, one of the bands he told me about was Baths.
To be honest, at first I was like “cool!”, but never actually gave it a thorough listen.
Then one day I happened upon this video.
Pure F’ing Art – The opening sound clip seems to agree.
* I describe my interpretation of the video in this review, so maybe you might want to watch it once on your own so that you may possibly come up with a unique one? Just a suggestion! *
So this samurai fellow is stumbling through these beautiful lush woods, with his katana drawn, and arrows sticking out of his back. Not looking too good, he falls to his knees and breathes his last breath. A heroic warrior’s death. And meanwhile, the entire time this unrelenting beat is playing, representing the man’s fall, like a broken clock winding away. These are exactly the types of beats in modern music that I absolutely adore by the way. It makes no sense, but it just flows in some machine-like fashion, like the thoughts of refined yet chaotic organisms.
The bass is simple but it fits nicely. The beat subsides a bit, and the vocals come in. They may be hard to accept at first, but you just have to realize how unique they are. And they seemingly represent the forest ghosts now descending on our fallen samurai, who now is emitting his soul, in the form of bluish smoke.
The beat returns. The ghosts push the man’s soul back inside, wrap his wounds, and begin to drag him away across the forest floor. He regains consciousness at one point, only to realize that he is a sacrifice for some sort of forest ghost queen. The bass strums now more relaxed. She swoops in for a kiss, and the man envisions himself swimming with her underwater, a brief guitar/piano solo embodying the experience. (someone tell me what instrument it is lolplz)
She then proceeds to remove the cloth covering his mouth and begins to eat his soul. The entire forest then begins to secrete it’s own soul. And the video ends.
And it’s a hell of a video if you ask me. And yes, I am pretty sure drugs where related in it’s making. It’s about a very-grim topic too, and you can tell it’s a good because it actually leaves you with a neutral feeling at its finish. The man either was wounded in combat and was now hallucinating as he died, or the whole thing took place in some crazy fantasy setting. Assuming the former, the ghosts represent whatever was keeping him bound to the world, the forest queen most likely being his lover.
The part at the end where he is swimming, I think, definitely represents a sort of peaceful dying vision. And that would mean that the mysterious forest queen lover did the samurai a favor. Unless, of course, that that fact doesn’t out-weigh the soul-eating part in your books. It’s really up for interpretation. Pretty damn clever if you ask me.
And the music! It starts off very experimental and weird. Awesomeness to my ears! But then it continues this trend by slowly morphing into this very relaxing and melodic piece. You don’t even realize there’s a guitar playing until the very end. And the vocals are almost shrill, but they too prove to drive the song in an almost surreal fashion, like you don’t know what to make of them so you simply accept them. Eventually they calm down, the same lines being repeated, lulling out in a sense.
A very good song with a very good video, by a very talented artist.
If any of you guys have a unique interpretation of the video, please share! Mine, I’m pretty sure, is the obvious interpretation. I tried not to dive too deep…
P.S. If you would like to know more about polish hipsters (lol), then here is a very good documentary which I recently watched. It shows a lot about the current art and music cultures and sub-cultures developing in Poland and how the youth are embracing them. Cool place if you ask me. From Poland with Love