Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Field - From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt)

Slapping the terms like "trance", "minimal", and "techno", may quickly dismiss this album's true essence. But these labels shine some truth on what the music has to offer. The album undeniably employs 4/4 rhythm, which, I suppose, classifies it as techno; its minuscule musical progression begs for the minimal adjective; and its repetitive and hypnotic structure, no doubt puts people into trance. But that's just on the surface. Beyond the deeper layers, Axel Willner, who goes by the name The Field, employs tiny sampled, hiccuped, locked loops, that create the music all on their own, as if the needle was stuck in skipping groove. Yet, From Here We Go Sublime is not a banging stomp of grinding beats that you may imagine it to be. In fact, it is relaxing and surreal; it is a child of ambient and techno; it is sublime. Landing the album on Kompakt Records couldn't be more appropriate for Willner. The German label has released numerous minimal gems in the past years, from Thomas Fehlmann, Gui Boratto, Klimek and Richard Voigt. And who could deny Kaito's skillfully approach to simplicity in his Hundred Million Light Years. The reviews you may find on The Field are mixed. It may seem that skill is underplayed, when loops go on forever with barely any manipulation, as if an amateur discovered the fun in Ableton's sample locking, layering and filters. But it is that minimal progression, the buildup without the dynamics, the riding trip into narcotic fractal, that works well for Willner, time and time again. My favorite track is A Paw In My Face, because at the end it becomes "unstuck" and my brain unplugs as if the switch flips off in my electric chair. | |

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