Kompakt records is streaming The Field's fourth album, Cupid's Head, on Soundcloud.
As that stream will eventually expire, some more information is below the fold.Axel Willner
assumed the moniker of The Field in 2004 to try and make music at the intersection of pop and electronic. This has largely meant producing repetitive, airy minimal techno
built around small samples of pop songs. For example, A Paw In My Face
is built around a Lionel Ritchie sample
, and the title track
is built around a Flamingos sample.
The Field's first album, 2007's From Here We Go Sublime
, was critically lauded for being "formally simple yet functionally overwhelming"
and "music for imagining a utopian future to."
(According to MetaCritic, it was one of the two best-reviewed albums of 2007.
) At the time, Willner's day job was working at a state-controlled liquor store.
On 2009's Yesteday and Today
Willner worked with additional live instrumentation and attempted to create even more of a blissed-out, phase-music feel; track lengths went up, to the mild vexation of Emerson Dameron at Dusted.
The album also included a fairly earnest cover
of the Korgis' Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime.
(And regardless of complaints about length, I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet
is one of the year's great track titles.)
While Yesterday and Today
seems to have met with a critical consensus of "pretty good but not great", 2011's Looping State of Mind
was heralded as a return to form, or perhaps a confident synthesis.
It again incorporated a full band of musicians, something that can be heard in Is This Power's
drums and bass line, while also delving into foreign, ambient piano-and-sighs territory with Then It's White.
has already met with some strong
and medium reviews
, and is being touted for sounding "darker" than before; this could be a deliberate artifact of the cover art,
given the previous choices.
Willner recorded the album by himself, for the first time "using only hardware, no computers",
while recovering from a tour. In an interview with FACT
he acknowledged the album's debt to his Loops of Your Heart
side project, which strives for more of a Kosmiche
All of Wilner's albums have been released by Kompakt,
an electronic imprint based in Köln
and run by Michael Mayer,
, and Jürgen Paape.
While first inspired to pick up a guitar after listening to The Misfits,
Willner has stated that that the reason he joined Kompakt was "entirely because of Wolfgang Voigt" and his love of Voigt's output as Gas.
Kompakt dates its founding to the establishment of the Delirium record store in 1993, and the label's history is well described in this oral history at Resident Advisor.
In addition to The Field, some of the things Kompakt is known for include: the crossover success of Gui Boratto's Beautiful Life
; Mayer's minimally-mixed Immer mix series, the first of which has been widely lauded;
and the ongoing Pop Ambient
series of albums.