The Field

From Here We Go Sublime | Kompakt
By DAVID DAY  |  June 19, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars
Not since Akufen’s “My Way” has an album of microsamples achieved the status of high art. The Field (a/k/a Swede Axel Willner) slices his favorite songs into paper-thin samples and then piles them on higher than a Dagwood sandwich. The result is a cascade of beautiful scaffolded sonics built of vocal gasps, reversed snares, and warm, pulsing beats. Willner takes it further by mixing in his own guitar loops and effects — mostly flangers and filters that further warm the soundpool until each track is a swirling, throbbing confection. The centerpiece, “The Deal,” is a 10-minute aural eclipse with a lone female voice sighing over loops of sound and dainty snares. It feels endless — in a good way. Most of Willner’s sources remain behind the wizard’s curtain, but in the last three seconds of the propulsive “A Paw in My Face,” a sample from Lionel Richie’s “Hello” pops out, and the final, title track lifts the fog on a ghostly sample of the Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes for You.” It’s a masterpiece of millennial digital collage that will have music fanatics searching, mostly in vain, for Willner’s other sources.
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