Sat 1st June
Swedish artist Axel Willner, more commonly known as The Field, marries heavily reverberating 4/4 techno rhythms - the sort that evoke the lost thud of a distant club - with the vast expanse and translucent territories of ambient music. The Field as an entity sprang up around 2003, when Axel took to Buzz – a software program he still uses to make music today – to construct his first forays into ambient techno. He was picked up by the Kompakt label just a year later in 2004. In his first release for them – “Things Keep Falling Down” in February 2005 – stand-out track “Love vs. Distance” provided the template for what would follow. Based on a stoic motorik and a perpetually rotating hook, it provided an early demonstration of how the Swede could take just four bars of sound and deftly deconstruct, alter and rebuild them to create a constantly changing canvas.
The Field project all came together in 2007 with the phenomenal success of debut LP “From Here We Go Sublime”. Its accolades are numerous – a 9.0 and a place inside the Top 200 records of the decade by Pitchfork, highly regarded by the NME and the BBC, and receiving the best aggregate score on review compiler Metacritic to name a few. When follow-up album “Yesterday & Today” was completed in May 2009, the approach and perceptions about what Willner wanted The Field to be had shifted, and by the time of its release, he’d been joined by two live musicians- an old friend called Dan Enqvist on bass, and Jesper Skarin on drums. Overall the second album felt more pointed, with rhythms and synths gaining harder edges. It was another critical success.
So to 2011 and the release of third album “Looping State Of Mind”, a record that in many ways recalls his previous work but also pushes on in new directions. “It’s been evolving and it will keep on doing so,” says its creator, “people come and go, adding their things to it, you change as well and so will the sound.” A release that comes across as Axel’s most accomplished to date; it feels like a culmination of sorts in that it could be a compilation of both its protagonists work and, indeed, life to date.