Decibel Festival 2014: Rhythm & Bass, featuring TOKiMONSTA & Baths

Decibel Festival, Live Reviews
Gerrit Feenstra
all photos by Dave Lichterman

Rhythm and bass: perhaps the only two places of common space in the Venn diagram between electronic pop producer TOKiMONSTA and dark synth pop wunderkind Baths – well, those and Los Angeles, I suppose. Both Jennifer Lee and Will Weisenfeld bend and break the pop skeleton and reshape it into something you would have never thought of on your own, and the result – in their individual ways – is a beautiful mosaic of pop and individual context. TOKiMONSTA and Baths kept Decibel fun going in a progressive and impactful way at the Showbox Thursday night.

Will Weisenfeld is living, breathing, day-to-day proof that you can't keep a good man down. At this point, it's actually a struggle to keep up with all of his separate projects, all using completely different instrumentation and evoking different emotional reactions each time. But when he returns to Baths to remind us how intricately beautiful his flagship project truly is, it's a marvelous thing. A far cry from the one-man trigger pad blitzkrieg of his live setup from Decibel in 2012, Will has expanded his live setup to pass off most live production to Morgan Greenwood, while Will is free to move about the stage screaming his head off and occasionally join in on piano and/or synthesizer. Playing material from his new EP Ocean Death, as well as both of his well-loved LPs, Baths had a tremendous control over the crowd and played a murderously good hour long set.Baths:

Hot on the heels of brand new LP Desiderium, LA producer TOKiMONSTA closed out Thursday night at the Showbox in stellar fashion. With an angled layer 3 light setup and a table full of magic, Jennifer Lee brought her sweeping, eclectic mixture of sounds to the stage in marvelous ways. We got to see TOKiMONSTA open for Chromeo earlier this year, and there, Lee's set was colorful and dynamic, but a bit reserved in terms of energy. Here, headlining tonight's bill, Lee let all hesitation to the wind with an energetic and explosive set covering her wide array of sounds. Plenty of Desiderium could be heard throughout the night, while some other TOKiMONSTA production favorites, including her fantastic remix of Tinashe's "2 On", made it into the highly danceable set. The crowd loved every minute of it, too, as Lee bounced around her table smiling almost as much as the crowd, having fun with every track and making every tiny alteration hold a world of difference.


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