EP – That Down-Home Astral Sound – Bathtub Sophist

Posted by admin on February 26th, 2008

I’m often making shoutouts for submissions from countries other than the normal US, UK and Canada. I’ve reviewed a fair few bands and artists from Australia, but never one from New Zealand, this I’m hoping to rectify now, with Bathtub Sophist, a name that really stands out from the norm. This 6 track EP, which is only currently available for digital download, has a fairly eclectic sound, but one thing that all tracks share, is an amazing soundscape.

“Jah Playground” opens the EP and it’s such a mellow, basic sound, that it would be easy to disregard, were it not for the fact, that there’s a wonderful fusion of everyday life sounds and a downtempo, almost dub musical accompaniment. “Efficiency – Effectiveness” , takes a female Stephen Hawking and again fuses it with a very simplistic music track, which shouldn’t work, but somehow does. It’s by no means the stronger of the tracks on the EP, but it really manages to get under your skin.

“Martian Lullaby”, unsurprisingly takes a more spacey, electronic turn, which at times, sounds like something that should feature on the Logan’s Run soundtrack. It’s also the shortest track on the EP at a minute 20 seconds. “Shanghai Sapera” as the name indicates, has a more eastern flavour, with drums that sound like those drums with two balls on strings that hit the drum as you twist the shaft. I kept wanting to hear some kind of choral vocals, to really make the track pop, as at times I felt my mind begin to wander.

“D Train” again unsurprisingly has a heavy train accent, but at the end of the day, I could not escape the persistent drumming that really made my ears appreciate silence when it finish. “Space Junk” is the track that really stands out and shows the real magic on this EP. It was indeed the track the brought Bathtub Sophist to my attention.

Whilst this EP represents an eclectic range of tracks, there is much to enjoy, but also a little to annoy. Whilst I’m a big fan of repetition, it has to be constructive and not consist of a constant banging of drums. The final track for me, really shows the magic that can be achieved and I’m hoping this is the direction that is taken in the future.

Conclusion : Something quite different, but enjoyable. If you are a fan of electronic / alternative music, there is surely something here you will enjoy. If this genre is new to you, it may prove an interesting introduction.

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