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2007 debut album from Sweden's Axel Willner AKA The Field. From Here We Go Sublime features 10 songs that fuse the Shoegazing sound of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Ride with modern Ambient, Techno and Electronic elements. Features 'Over The Ice', 'Silent' and the single 'Good Things End'. Electronic music usually profits from simplicity, a point the Field’s Axel Willner understood well when he made From Here We Go Sublime. Hailing from Sweden, Willner’s record has a weightless allure built out of droning spaces and populated with puffy cloud melodies that float and hover. It’s not exactly minimalist, because the layers are too complex and full of forward motion. But the assured way they repeat and loop into a dance-friendly texture would make both Brian Eno and Underworld proud. FHWGS has no interest in the usual peaks and valleys of trance, and yet its consistent anthemic oomph makes it a distant relative of that oft-derided genre. Willner’s patience and his emphasis on muted beats enable him to get maximum impact with only slight tweaks. "Over the Ice" sets the table with soft tones and scattered, wordless voices before dropping a hyper cross-rhythm, while glitch-y sidebars frame the exceedingly kind melody that drives "A Paw in My Voice." Even when the BPM notch gets kicked up on a relative burner like "Everyday," it fits right in with the record’s benevolent disposition. It’s brilliant stuff, a less-is-more epic that wafts onto the dance floor like a gust of summer wind.
Celebrated Kompakt staple The Field returns to the spotlight with The Follower, his fifth full-length offering following From Here We Go Sublime, Yesterday and Today, Looping State of Mind, and Cupid's Head. Swedish soundsmith Axel Willner is well known for his mastery when it comes to the allusive layering of loops, but it was with his 2013 album Cupid's Head that a newly found, somewhat pressing snappishness started to replace the soft-hued sonics of his ambient-infused techno, imbued with a darker mood and stronger footing than before. A carefully gauged balance of stoic motorik and gloomy drones was key here -- just as it is for The Follower, which goes even further in blurring the lines between concrete experimentation, body music, and precisely laid-out arrangement, leading to one of the most rhythmically and texturally engaging listening experiences in Willner's catalog. Title-track "The Follower" opening on a surprisingly muscular groove and setting the tone for what could be considered The Field's most floor-attuned work yet; a raw bounce dripping with foggy acid and marching percussion catches long-time fans off-guard while providing a perfect entry point for curious newcomers. Follow-up cut "Pink Sun" quickly finds its pace with one of these perpetually rotating hooks for which Willner is known, while "Monte Verità" specializes in tunefully glitched vocal samples with accompanying bass workout. This powerful, propelling album build-up finds its first moment of introspection with the mountainous "Soft Streams," an exciting synth journey that emits both ethereal and kinetic propensities. "Raise the Dead" presents The Field's focused sonic storytelling at its minimalist best, gyrating around a basic motive for a while before joining an earthy beat and opening up the sunshine roof. It's a winding, hypnotic track that also works particularly well as transition to the album's remarkable closing chapter; the slow-paced "Reflecting Lights" shows Willner at his most refined, evoking his often-quoted appreciation of Wolfgang Voigt's ambient project Gas as well as an obvious fondness for kraut synthesists and their trance-inducing exploits. The Follower shows a consistent evolution in The Field's trademark style of creation, but may very well be considered one of his most vibrant and visceral outings yet.
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