Debut solo album by Ruth Mascelli of New Orleans no wave/glam/industrial group Special Interest. A Night At The Baths is a progression from their previous work under the Psychic Hotline moniker, as well as the electronic rhythms they supply as part of Special Interest, drawing on techno, acid house and ambient music. An album as journey in the best sense, starting with the late night pulse-racing dancefloor menace of “Sauna” and ending with the melancholy dawn chorus of “Missing Men”, with a strong narrative arc in between, told through a deft use of instrumental textures.
Ruth Mascelli comments: “This album is an audio diary of adventures had at various bathhouses, dark rooms, and gay clubs while on tour with Special Interest and traveling on my own. It was a way of wrapping my head around my own experiences in those very specific surroundings but also an attempt to connect to the current of queer history flowing through those spaces. Cruising dystopia, libidinal contact, anonymity & risk - rites of passage with a potent lineage.
I was in a particularly dark and cavernous sex club when I heard an unstable melody crackling from down the hall. Instead of a proper sound system this place had the kind of network of tinny intercom speakers you would find in a school. The sound of a degraded pop song several rooms away getting lost amidst the chorus of heavy breathing was the starting point for this project.
I think of each individual track as it’s own room or physical space. Some may be lonely, some crowded, but I tried to leave them open enough to walk around and explore.”