The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
Swedish artist Axel Willner describes his music as The Field as "somewhere between soundscapes and classic songs." And his debut album, From Here We Go Sublime, released on Cologne's super-duper Kompakt Records, has classic written all over it. It really is a masterpiece of music making... and that's no exaggeration. Most numbers are ambient, like Sun and Ice and Good Things End, and gently wash over you with little engagement (which is always a sign of quality music in my book), however there's elements of house and techno in there too.
The opening track "Over The Ice" may be familiar to many, with it's inclusion on many mix-cd's and compilations in the last 18 months. And because this number sets the standard so high, you would be forgiven for thinking 'from here we go downhill' but no, the quality remains level throughout. This premise reminds me of something Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain once (modestly) said when talking about the album 'Nevermind'. He talked about the idea of spreading the tracks of 'Nevermind' across two albums because every track was so strong. So in this context, it probably sounds a bit dramatic to say, but I see From Here We Go Sublime in exactly the same way: Axel probably could have thinned out the quality and spread the 10 tracks over two albums by filling up with some lesser-quality soundscapes. Luckily for you and I he didn't and that's what makes From Here We Go Sublime a classic in the making.
Made up of 10 tracks with only a couple less than 6 minutes (one over 10 mintues) the album is an effortless listen, formed from sound cuts, robotic beats and guitar loops that both hypnotise and tug warmly at your heart. It's got a repetitive groove that you may dislike but I find completely compelling. The structure of each song on the album is more or less the same with each one starting abruptly, sometimes halfway through a beat, no introduction or lead-in - it almost doesn't sound right. There's no singing on the album yet it's full of processed, wordless voices. For example on The Little Heart Beats So Fast we get these almost sexual-sounding female moans cut to reveal a repetitive groan. And on closing track From Here We Go Sublime the clipped vocals almost pass for choral singing.