ARTIST: The Bathtub Sophist
The Bathtub Sophist (AKA Arron Stewart), is a New Zealand based multi-instrumentalist and music producer. His music presents an eclectic mix of organic and synthetic elements woven together in a unique musical package.
Since: Dec 2008
Since: Aug 2007
1st Review is in...
The Bathtub Sophist is beginning to move into the realm of the prolific with this, his third EP release(and with seven tracks, the definition of �EP� is being stretched). The accompanying press release promises more, too, as this is the �first in a series of four concept EPs� all based on an environmental theme.
As essentially non-vocal music, there is necessarily less dependency on melody and more on the elements of timbre, structure and harmony for effect and this CD shows quite some development from debut music from an L shaped room especially in terms of timbre. Put simply the �sophist has armed himself with more sonic weapons-especially in terms of keyboards,and this really makes the opening tracks come to life, as well as providing the necessary evocative flavour to �swamp thing� and �stardust�.
The programmatic nature of this whole CD is quite overt, but with such wit and charm-as evidenced by opening track �rise and shine� (featuring a crowing rooster!) that it quickly dispels any potential groans from listeners who may be feaked by the term �concept EP�.Because the concept is so clear in the music, it is easy to go with it and enjoy what it evokes- The afternoon dub reggae of �bask�, and late night feel of �swamp thing�.Each piece perfectly matches musically what is supposed to evoke, which when you think about it, is no mean feat.
Certainly there is a feeling of growing confidence and adventurism here, and it is this sense along with the clever handling of the �concept� that makes this CD such an enjoyable listen.
Trevor Faville - DMY Reviews.
Since: Aug 2007
The Bathtub Sophist
MAIN CROP 1 (The Bathtub Sophist)
-Reviewed by Jeff Neems,
Waikato Times: 29th July, 2010.
The Bathtub Sophist is Hamilton East musician Arron Stewart, and this is the second of his release to be tackled on this page. There are numerous words appropriate to describe what he�s produced here � kooky, dinky, peculiar and simple all spring to mind- but what stands out the most is his enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries. It�s virtually impossible to stick this 7-track EP into a one genre box and be done with it.
Natural world sounds such as birds (a crowing rooster welcomes listeners on the short opening track) and rustling trees are one of the striking features of music which blends electronic elements with semi-acoustic pop nuances, nods to classical or orchestral music, and considerable emphasis on atmospherics.
Stewart�s minimalist approach to his music also appeals, with uncluttered compositions making for relaxing ambient yet deliberately organised listening. With a strong sense of the basic home studio in these songs, the highlight is the delicious digital-dub of *Bask*. With hints of everything from electronic icons The Orb to wafty acoustic folk, The Bathtub Sophist�s Main Crop: 1 is a tasty little offering suggesting more good work to come.
If there�s one flaw, its that the songs are too short � five of the seven inclusions are less than three minutes long � but when all elements are considered, this is a clear signal that Stewart has plenty of unusual sonic ideas to offer.