The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Field-From Here We Go Sublime

I'll be the first one to admit that I know very little about techno. Granted, there was a brief period at the end of high school where I became briefly infatuated with rave/electronic music. I attribute this mainly to a graduation trip to Europe coupled with too much booze and recreational drug use. This tumultuous time in my life saw me attending 0 actual raves, but it did end with me owning a Fatboy Slim record, an Eiffel 65 record, a Venga Boys record and something called "Pure Rave" that I bought at a Parisian swap meet. It promised "full versions non-stop." I never ended up listening to it, and I'm rather scared to start now.

Luckily, freshman year of college began, I discovered Rawkus Records, J5 and Dilated Peoples and that awkward one-month phase was swept under the rug, never to be discussed again. Until now, in the year 2007, a time in which my penchant for European electronica has once again reared its ugly head. No, Eiffel 65 hasn't made a triumphant comeback (thank god), however a bevy of electronic acts have sprung up in their place. Most of which are actually good.

I wrote about the amazing Spanish group, Souvenir last month (MP3's still active), last month, but there have been several other records catching my interest of late, including Kompakt artists Gui Boratto and The Field, the latter of whom has made one of the best electronic albums I've ever heard (not saying much, but still).

Axel Willner of The Field: Best Axel Since Foley
The Field is the alias of Swedish techno virtuouso, Axel Willner, pictured here in a shirt that he presumably purchased after a four-day cocaine binge. And while I don't endorse four day cocaine binges, I can only imagine how good this album would sound after one (provided you could ignore the spiders crawling up your arms). Often described as minimalist techno, From Here We Go Sublime, is a collection of hypnotic, repetitive rhythms that manage to burrow their way into the grooves of your subconsciousness with their cool, icy detachment.

The moment this record hit the Stylus message board, sentiment was unanimous that it was headed for a Stylus Recommends tag. But it took me a while to get on board the band wagon. After all, there was that nasty series of Venga Boys flashbacks I had a few years back that doctors said can only be overcome through heavy therapy and/or brainwashing. But now that I've given the record a chance, I find myself getting lost inside its slashing synth lines, cold clean drums and drugged out-blissful state.

Willmer might be Swedish, but it's almost impossible not to make Simpsons-inspired "German efficiency," references when listening to his Kompakt debut. From Here We Go has no wasted movement, moving with the fluid grace of a marathon runner. It feels like the lost soundtrack to a low-budget Teutonic re-make of Beverly Hills Cop: more frantic, less funny, still guys named Axel. And with all honesty, there is something inherently amusing about listening to German techno made by a Swedish man named Axel. Either way, download these songs. I can guarantee they're better listening than "I'm Blue."

MP3: The Field-"Everyday"
MP3: The Field-"Silent"


Eiffel 65: "I'm Blue"


At 2:24 AM, Anonymous dudeasincool said...

Pretty high energy stuff. Here's a couple electronic cousins suggestions:

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous floodwatch said...

This has been on my wish list for quite some time now. Good stuff.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Yes, The Field (and the Kompakt label in general) is awesome. As a born and bred Detroiter I know my techno, and this is top flight.

Anyone that likes his sound should definitely check out Germany's Basic Channel and their various aliases and cohorts like Chain Reaction and Rhythm and Sound. These guys all but set the template for what The Field is doing now. Plus the Rhythm and Sound stuff is on a serious dub tip. A smoker's delight.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger heather said...

Were you in Europe in 1999? I was in Italy to study fall of 99 and it was all about the Eiffel 65, the Venga Boys, and an Italian rap group called Piotta.

(I hang my head in shame. But I did make a really annoyingly addictive mix CD following all those months of clubbing)

At 10:28 PM, Blogger blythe said...

there's been a void in my life. it was just filled with that video.


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