Audio Baton is the moniker for Ben Weddle who wrote, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered his first self-titled EP Audio Baton. Weddle’s music is hard to define but there are a couple of words, which can help describe it such as repetitive, hypnotic and atmospheric. Of the four songs on this EP Weddle will take on set of notes and not stray from it. He often layers it with other elements in order to create variation.
For instance the first song “O Furious” in which Weddle builds the song around a couple of notes that get covered in white noise, synths and other indistinguishable sounds as it progresses. Apparently, the lyrics on the song are from Walt Whitman but you would never know it as it’s impossible to understand a single word of what he is saying. His vocals are frustratingly low in the mix and are basically void of any mids or highs that are perceptible to the human ear.
The second song “Celebration” is an instrumental track that is a mix between annoying hard dissonance with a smudge beauty that is buried well beneath the mix. He is almost there but not quite with the song. It reminded me a bit of the song “Glide” by Fennesz, which in my opinion is the perfect combination of dissonance and harmony.
The music on the song “Like Be” sounded like a stripped down version of a song by “The Field.” HIs vocals are a bit more prominent in this song but I still couldn't understand the lyrics. When he sings his voice resides prominently between lower frequencies, which make it sound muddy.
Weddle hit his finest moment with the last track “Emancipation.” I was able to make out some of the lyrics this time around as the track builds upon a piano melody and sustains from an organ or synth. He implements his most impressive transition about half way through as the piano fades out and you are left with the hum of an organ and the rumbling of sub frequencies.
Weddle seems to be at a point where he is discovering his sound. His mixes could be balanced better and some of the songs are a couple of shades shy of being on target but that are a number of moments on the EP that led me to believe he is capable of making inspired music. We will see how this plays out.
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