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Looping State of Mind
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Looping State of Mind
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Now, we have "Looping State Of Mind", Axel Willner's third as The Field. At first glance, it seems like a pretty modest release. But these seven songs are spread out over an hour, and, boy, do they breathe. He's latched on to his ability to develop a single source ("Yesterday and Today"), and lets seemingly simple sounds develop into their own. Now, there is a pretty clear emphasis on the 4/4 rhythms, but the playfulness has always been how the other elements interact with a bit of swing (check the intro to "Burned Out" if you doubt this).
30-second samples will not do justice to the warmth of this album. If you haven't checked out "From Here We Go Sublime", it's worth checking out to see if you'll like it. If you're already on board, though, check this album out, and live with it for a while in the background before moving it to your favorites.
One of the best of 2011, in my opinion.
I'm not normally a fan of "looped" based methods of music making. I prefer stacked harmonies, melodies, a whole wall of sound that shifts and surprises. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of trance music because, although I understand what is trying to be done with repeated patterns, it usually doesn't lull me into the music and instead makes me think that the musician is simply lazy and hit "repeat" for 16 bars in their computer program.
But with The Field, Axel Willner manages to accomplish the main task of pattern-based music (putting the listener into a trance) while making it still sound organic and natural. It doesn't feel like someone arranging blocks of sounds in a computer sequencer, it sounds like someone with a sense of purpose. He smartly augments his loops with live instruments which breathes a hefty amount of life into the music. He is also extremely patient, some of the more rewarding songs exceeding 10 minute lengths.
As I'm listening, I don't even hear some of the things creeping in. "Subtle" is a vast understatement; there were times when I started listening to a song and before I knew it, realized that 15 different things were going on at one single moment. That was the moment I realized the brilliance of this work. It doesn't try too hard but it works hard enough to make the listen worthwhile.
Now, roots are really the key to the ultimate success or failure of Looping State of Mind, and while the album title may suggest a strong return to form after 2009's somewhat meandering Yesterday and Today, Looping State of Mind actually finds Willner expanding more, however the music isn't quite as indulgent as that of Yesterday and Today. Sure there's not a single track under 7 minutes to be found here, but Willner really uses restraint on a lot of these tracks and actually builds on them. Whereas on a track like Sun & Ice off of From Here We Go Sublime, Willner would let the simplicity of the sample do all the work, we find him here on tracks like Burned Out, consistently layering the dreamy frenzy creating a kind of understated crescendo. This is one of the new tricks he's really honed in on throughout the album, and it's quite a welcome change of pace.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WHERE IS THE MUSIC!? ....
These tunes are lacking majorly. The Field's first two albums were really solid and full of fresh energy, and now he's decided to go "the Band... Read more
The sound is VAST and relentless. Great for a brisk walk at night. I love it. This and his album 'Yesterday and Today' are my favorite.Published on April 17, 2012 by K-TRON