Thor Rixon is an artist who deals in evolution; this has been apparent from the outset.
The musical projects he’s put his time to over the last five years are too numerous to list, and they are equally as diverse. He is all-consuming, curious, and often hyperactive. His solo releases as Thor Rixon reflect this. And so while Songs from the Bath (released last week) marks a sonic departure from his first two albums, the departure, in and of itself, is perfectly within character. And while much of the sound and the instrumentation has shifted, has knack for the off-beat and off-kilter is fully on display.
After releasing Shared Folder in 2013 and then the follow-up Tea Time Favourites almost exactly a year later, SFTB represents a two-and-a-half-year gap between releases, the longest we’ve gone without new music from him. The experience of the album reflects that longer gestation/creation period. It’s simultaneously the most experimental album of his career (which is saying something, given his penchant for pushing his sound in all directions) as well as his most cohesive. The album is clearly influenced by the likes of Nicolaas Jaar and Floating Points, and finds time to be, in equal parts, jarring and beautiful. It also continues his long-held interest in collaboration; there are four different listed collaborators, including the healer Hlasko, Itai Hakim, and frequent Berlin-travel-mates Alice Phoebe Lou and Olmo as well as a range of others who helped in various ways. Here, more so than ever, it feels as though Rixon has weaved these talents into his own sound and vision; they dip in and enhance but never steal the limelight away.
Image by Kelly Makropoulos / courtesy of the artist
This week, Rixon is launching the album officially with shows in Cape Town (tonight, February 1st) and Joburg (Saturday, February 4th). The evenings will consist of a 2-hour live improvised performance of pieces from Songs from the Bath, with artists Alice Phoebe Lou, Hlasko, Olmo, Pavlov and others joining in to create the one-off experience.
It promises to be unique, both for Rixon as an artist and for fans of his music, and seems the most fitting way to present the music from this album live.