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From Here We Go Sublime

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 5, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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'. Kompakt.

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. --Matthew Cooke

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Over The Ice
  2. A Paw In My Face
  3. Good Things End
  4. The Little Heart Beats So Fast
  5. Everday
  6. Silent
  7. The Deal
  8. Sun & Ice
  9. Mobilia
  10. From Here We Go Sublime

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 5, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kompakt Germany
  • ASIN: B000NQDDO6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By somethingexcellent VINE VOICE on April 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
As I mentioned recently in a review for Gui Boratto's Chromophobia album, it's sometimes difficult to distinguish the exact reasons why one minimal electronic release is better than another one, due to similarities in production and overall sound. Of course, in the end it usually comes down largely to personal perceptions that can't be explained, but other defining characteristics (because of the constructs of the music itself) are nearly always very, very subtle in and of themselves.

From Here We Go Sublime is yet another release on the Kompakt label that is nonetheless completely stunning, and for reasons mentioned above, it's difficult to explain why. The debut release from Sweden's Axel Willner, it drifts somewhere between minimal dance music and repetitive ambience, with beats that clomp along fast enough to fuel movement, but with enough ethereal qualities that you could simply put it on and trip out on the couch with it easily enough as well. Essentially, it's trance music of the highest quality, veering completely leftward of the cheeseball Global Underground crowd, and falling somewhere between the work of Kaito (also on the Kompakt label) and Wolfgang Voigt (aka Gas).

Willner actually has a few things in common with micro-sample sculptor Akufen, but instead of trying to wow you with his cutting ability and a frantic hand, he has pulled out hundreds of little heavily melodic snippets and stutters and scatters them across gorgeous expanses, building tracks slowly and letting them peak subtlety. The release opens with "Over The Ice," a single that was released last year to great acclaim, and for good reason.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Angry Mofo on December 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
More than any other album in the past few years, From Here We Go Sublime reaches back to the "artistic" style of techno that was associated with Warp Records in the early nineties. Like the work of Autechre and Aphex Twin, it's very minimal. The music doesn't really have much forward development, and instead alternates between two or three different phrases for five to seven minutes at a time. Also like the work of Warp artists, the album as a whole seems designed for quiet contemplation, even though many of the individual songs are upbeat. The title gives away Axel Willner's ambition -- the album wants to be more than merely danceable, energetic or fun, it wants to be "sublime."

On the first side, it succeeds to a large degree. The first six tracks are very listenable and make for excellent driving music. Willner's secret weapon is the hazy production, which puts a slight hissing echo on the rhythms while keeping the volume low, so that they sound distant and mysterious. This technique appears on the first track "Over The Ice" and then is repeated exactly on "Good Things End." The piano in "A Paw In My Face" and the keyboards in "Everday," which might have sounded fit for some loud rave track in another context, are similarly treated. The effect is very hypnotic, drawing one into the rhythms.

But there's a big difference between Aphex Twin and The Field. Willner doesn't have the ability of Richard D. James to write simple but inventive and easily memorable instrumental melodies. In fact, he can't really write an original drum track either. Instead, he relies on the most recognizable, generic dance beats, which he then gives the foggy echo treatment. You've probably heard all of them before in popular dance songs.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matt on December 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I had no patience for this album at first. It is highly repetitive and simple. I'll admit that I was bored. I gave it some more chances, though. I listened to it while doing other things as background. I highly recommend doing the same. The beauty comes out in the details. It is written on a micro-level. It takes some work rather than the typical instant gratification of a macro composition. You come to expect some of the detailed tiny changes that happen. The gratification is well worth it. This is beautiful if you give it a chance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Lambert on October 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Please don't misunderstand my review title! I use music through headphones to unwind before going to sleep. I have yet to get through three tracks (starting at various tracks on the CD) before going to la la land. It is both sublime and redundant, but in the best possible way. Music like this used to come with a warning..."do not drive while listening". Not only is this musical statement hypnotic, it's down right as good as a sleeping pill to me!
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Format: Audio CD
The Field's _From Here We Go Sublime_ seems mistitled, because sublime is already here. I had to admit, on the first listen of this album, I wasn't taken with it. After being so heavily hyped, I had expected something more mind-blowing. But on the second listening, that's when the mind-blowing occurred. Loop-based music is incredibly easy to make, but is incredibly difficult to do well. But Axel Willner, the man behind The Field, has hit on a stunningly gorgeous method: his stuttering loops create almost a trance-like feel to the track such that the variations, when they come, pound into your consciousness, recreating the track anew. So even as a track like "Silent" seems straightforward when it begins, it has morphed into something unrecognizable by its midway point. Even the opening track, "Over the Ice," has its recurring vocal textures, right before things suddenly go acid. But Willner also has some surprises: when the guitar loop of "A Paw in My Face" finally resolves at the end, we can hear the complete transformation of the source material into the blissful hiccups. The same goes with the ambient title track and its slow deconstruction of Motown. "Good Things End" gallops along with thick percussion, like a pack of wild horses across a boreal tundra, and "The Deal" takes a similar aggressive stance before thundering itself into a spacious territory. "The Little Heart Beats So Fast" takes a little expression of pleasure and acidifies it into a full-fledged groover, while the brightness of "Everyday" swings into something new with the introduction of the vocals before it returns to the opening motif. The standout track, "Sun & Ice," has such a richness of sound that it seems to glow in the consciousness, even as it suddenly decays and resumes. _From Here We Go Sublime_ offers so many pleasures that one can return to it again and again, each time discovering new things.
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