Spalting marks the debut release from w. baer, an alias of Burbank, California artist Wyatt Baer. Titled after the process of wood coloration caused by fungi that's primarily found in dead trees, this decaying process seeps into the album's seven tracks. Immersed in an anxious, unpredictable energy that blooms with moments of stunning beauty, Spalting is a dynamic, emotionally charged journey. A reckless sonic catharsis drives the production. Gauzy deconstructed beats storm through claustrophobic textures with evocative shards of distorted vocals. While it's a thrillingly suffocating sound, w. baer still allows the listener to see some ambivalent hope at the end of the tunnel. Dissonance is rarely this beautiful.