The Field

With his work as the Field, Swedish electronic producer Axel Willner is one of the Kompakt label's most beloved and polarizing techno artists. His richly emotive sound, which has varied only slightly across the years, moving slowly from pop-friendly techno with inventively applied samples in his early days to more sophisticated and reaching tones as time passed. His 2007 debut From Here We Go Sublime was adored by critics and fans alike, and he followed with new material regularly, new albums arriving with uniform, minimal album art. With albums like 2016's The Follower and 2018's Infinite Moment, the Field gradually branched out into more dubby production and shoegazey textural exploration. The Field debuted with Things Keep Falling Down in early 2005. A stunning entry, the 12" contained a pair of blissed-out trance-techno tracks over ten minutes in length -- one of which, "Thought vs. Action," made clever use of the intro to the Four Tops' "I'll Be There." The second 12", Sun and Ice, incorporated samples of Lionel Richie and Kate Bush and led to the Field's first album, From Here We Go Sublime which surfaced in 2007. Two of Willner's dreamiest and most impressive tracks appeared on Kompakt's Pop Ambient 2007 and Pop Ambient 2008 compilations prior to 2009's Yesterday and Today, a rhythmically varied set due to the involvement of several instrumentalists, including Battles drummer John Stanier. 2011's Looping State of Mind boasted Willner's brawniest compounds of shoegaze, ambient dub, and techno. 2013's Cupid's Head and 2016's The Follower, as indicated by their sleeve colors, offered darker moods and were, like the debut, created strictly by Willner. The producer has also taken part in the group Cologne Tape, and has recorded under a handful of solo aliases, including Loops of Your Heart. 2018 saw the release of Infinite Moment, the sixth full-length album from the Field and a dive even deeper into the dark textures and searching sounds he'd explored on recent albums. ~ Andy Kellman

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