Local Wire

The Field

Axel Willner's debut album stutters so much, sometimes it's as if the speakers will wobble off the table's edge and crash to the floor in pieces. As The Field, Willner casts his ubiquitous, reliable software looping techniques in a frequently satisfying light on From Here We Go Sublime, one of the most aptly titled records ever written. Willner's revered, excessively atmospheric techno often launches from a mild kick pulse on From Here, and in almost every case, it takes more than a few minutes for his initially looped segment of bleary sounds to change at all. When this formula doesn't make hurling oneself from an open window seem the only option, it's smart and refreshing. On "A Paw in My Face" and "Over the Ice," both of which also appeared on the Swedish experimentalist's pre-album Sun & Ice 12-inch, Willner's clipped guitar samples and urgent female vocal snippets are but fragments in what amount to overtly hypnotic works. His recent unforgettable inclusion on Pop Ambient 2007 is mirrored on "Mobilia," an entry so jittery and repetitive in its first few seconds that the remainder is 10 times as dizzying, headed for the inevitable Sublime in endless loops of majestic flanged swirls.
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Dominic Umile