Sweden's Axel Willner, better known as The Field, is one of minimal techno’s rising stars. His debut full-length From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt) was one of the standout releases of 2007 — and was as lushly beautiful as minimally possible. This Saturday, Willner plays a hotly anticipated live set at Great Scott, featuring a live backing band. Here are two classic tracks from The Field and two by a pair of Kompakt-affiliated artists on a similarly warm and textural tip.
The Field, “A Paw in my Face”
With looped nano-snippets of an AM radio workhorse at its core, this track off of Sublime is pure dancefloor bliss from the get-go. What Willner does here is deceptively simple, but it’s so skillfully executed that not even the big reveal at the song’s climax (the samples are from Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello”) can blunt the buzz of this ethereal dreamscape.
The Field, “Kappsta (vinyl edit)”
This is the track that put The Field on the map, if you will. With its billowing vocal samples and soft padding beats, the lighter-than-air, sweeter-than-cotton-candy “Kappsta” was the hands down highlight of Kompakt’s Pop Ambient 2007 compilation. It is so good it even spawned a sequel, titled “Kappsta 2.” No joke.
Gas, “Zauberberg (edit)”
Willner makes no secret of his abiding affection for the work of Kompakt label head, Wolfgang Voigt (a/k/a Gas, Freiland, Mike Ink, etc.). He draws particular inspiration from Voigt’s seminal late 90s releases as Gas. Long out-of-print, the four Gas LPs have just been reissued in a deluxe box set (see our review). This special edit from 97's Zauberberg will give you a taste of Voigt's almost hallucinogenic take on ambient techno.
Klimek, “For Michael Gira and Vladmir Ivanovich”
As Klimek, Sebastian Meissner (a/k/a Random Industries, Bizz Circuits, etc.) is best known for his aptly titled 2006 album Music to Fall Asleep (Kompakt) and over the years he has made some of the more somnambulant techno this side of blinken and nod. This track from his most recent release, Dedications on Ezekiel Honig's new Anticipate label, is a beautifully cerebral mix of field recordings of shipyards and guitar samples (sourced from Bill Frisell).
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