Wednesday, June 3, 2009




THE FIELD - OVER THE ICE.mp3 (alt link)

Under the moniker “The Field,” Stockholm's Axel Willner was recruited by Cologne-based Kompakt after his blend of blissful and sumptuous postminimalism caught the label’s attention. Following 2007’s triumphant "From Here We Go Sublime" and a revelatory live tour with !!!, Willner invited two close friends (percussionist Dan Enqvist and multi-instrumentalist Andreas Söderstrom) to join him in musical camaraderie. The three embarked on a series of organic recording sessions; in lieu of the traditional solitary experience Willner had grown accustomed to, the process of developing and recording “From Here We Go Sublime” was more fluid and tactile – more akin to an acoustic jam session – than a disciplined regimentation of musical calculations. The labour yielded an exciting fusion of ambient trance, minimal IDM, avant-prog postminimalism, and shoegaze-cum-krautrock.

A musical alchemist, Willner crystallizes moments and sublimates them, sculpting sound and synthesizing his musical concoctions into expansive amalgamations that recall the droney fuzziness of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, the epic sonorous spacescapes of Spiritualized, Mogwai, and Spacemen 3, the digital intricacies of Tangerine Dream, Legowelt, Boards of Canada, Orbital, and Aphex Twin, the krautgeist of Neu!, Cluster, and Harmonia, the entrancing repetitive structures of Eno and early Bowie, and the similarly cathedralesque sounds of Philip Glass. Weaving cyclical samples and massaging melodic loops into interloping phasing patterns, Willner creates a celestial sound that reveals subliminal musical subtexts though subtle and insistent shifts. While The Field’s recorded material invites listeners on a phonetic journey through atmospheric soundscapes, the live experience will certainly transcend standard notions of “techno,” funneling a tunnel of warm, yet glacial, Nordic harmonics into an amniotic vortex of shimmering, ethereal music. - Kateri O'Neil

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