Sign up for our mailing list Real artists creating records on their own terms

Sign up for our mailing list


Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

The Field Bio (2009)

Stockholm's Axel Willner aka The Field, joined the Cologne based Kompakt family back in 2005 with the release of his 12" debut "Things Keep Falling Down". His ability to sample the familiar into something new combined with a deep adoration for Kompakt co-owner Wolfgang Voigt's GAS and M:I:5 electronics sound and the shoe gazer rock of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine served to inspire a new fusion of ambient and techno. This path continued with a remix of the Annie's pop smash Heartbeat that resulted in The Field becoming a cult favorite amongst bloggers which continues today. The real turning point was The Field's remix of Scandinavian rockers 120 Days. Found on over 200 blogs and webzines, it was this record that exposed The Field to legions of new fans. His second single "Sun & Ice" and a remix for James Figurine (The Postal Service) poised him for the much anticipated release of his full length debut.

"From Here We Go Sublime" was released in March 2007 and shattered all expectations. Along with such artists such as M83, Dan Deacon, Junior Boys and Girl Talk, the record forged a new direction of indie-electronic -breaking down the confines, which had plagued electronic music for so long. The press adored the album, Metacritic calling it the 'best reviewed album of 2007' while Pitchfork awarding it a coveted 9.0 rating stating, "Willner's triumph on From Here We Go Sublime remains how he manages to isolate and repeat his little moments, transmuting them through the basic dance music building blocks of juxtaposition and repetition into something bigger, wringing pleasure out of the always potentially dull aforementioned "sound sculpting"...."...If Willner doesn't hit at least some of your pleasure centers, well, forget your ears-- your nerve endings might actually be dead."

Willner followed the release of From Here We Go Sublime with non-stop touring. It would prove a pivotal time for the artist. While on tour with !!! in North America, Willner would grow increasingly weary of the limitations of performing alone with only a laptop. Upon returning to Stockholm, Willner teamed up with friends - percussionist/bass player Dan Enqvist and multi-instrumentalist Andreas Söderstrom (who also performs under the name Ass and also as a member of Taken By Trees, Pallin, and Tenniscoats) to see what they could accomplish playing together. Willner had also begun collecting vintage synthesizers and gear. Following their live debut in Stockholm, The Field went on to perform across Europe and North America, headlining slots at Sonar, Field Day, All Tomorrow's Parties and Mutek. And though Willner remains the primary force behind The Field, the union between the three musicians has had an undeniable effect on Willner and on the sound of his new album "Yesterday & Today." "I've enjoyed the sound and the state we have been in as a band," he explains. "And I very much wanted to bring that to the recording of the new album."

Willner spent November of 2008 alone in Berlin setting up and recording the framework of what would eventually become "Yesterday & Today". With demos in hand, he headed back to Stockholm and to a friend's house in the countryside where they set up a temporary studio and weeks of constant recording ensued. "Friends were coming and leaving and recording with us," Willner says. "The atmosphere was very open and the sessions we very jam like. It was an ideal way for me to record and create."

Yesterday & Today is over an hour long with only six songs - a testament to the recording process and the modernized elements of kraut rock that resonate throughout it. The track "Sequenced" recalls the ambient rhythmic drive of seventies Krautrock supergroup, Harmonia. Willner surprises again by diving into a reinvented version of The Korgis pop classic "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" with washes of synthetic ambience and a methodically tapping glockenspiel, the vocals whispering the chorus yet teasingly refraining from engaging the hook. Fans of the From Here We Go Sublime album will rejoice in the new records first single "The More That I Do" with Willner's sample riddled vocal loops accompanied by a colossal blend of synths, guitars, and percussion. Together with John Stanier of Battles on percussions and band mate Dan Enquist on bass, the record's title track moves from Willner's epic flow into Stanier's masterful beats. The Field manages to show a lighter side with the opening track (and perhaps the best song name ever) "I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet" while the song "Leave It" croons with a near modern classical feel that seems to herald a new era for fans of Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

With the release of his startling sophomore effort, Yesterday & Today, The Field has now clearly vaulted himself well beyond the laptop, embracing the unique sounds of his past while forging an entirely new sounding Krautrock of the future.

JUDY MILLER ( 323.662.3865

The Field's artist page

Browse by Artist

1777All Artists 60Mavis Staples 56Dr. Dog 55The Milk Carton Kids 51Sean Rowe 50Tinariwen 49Neko Case 44Son Little
43Lost In The Trees 36Saintseneca 34Glen Hansard 33Michael Franti and Spe... 33Galactic 31Jolie Holland 28William Elliott Whitmo... 28Doe Paoro 27Man Man 25Bettye LaVette 25Andy Shauf 23Jason Lytle 23Christopher Paul Stell... 22Tom Waits 22Booker T. Jones 22Sage Francis 21Islands 21Xenia Rubinos 20Daniel Lanois 20Calexico 20DeVotchKa 20Prism Tats 20Delicate Steve 19The Dream Syndicate 18Joe Henry 18Wilco 18So Much Light 18The Drums 17Tim Fite 17Grinderman 16Porter Wagoner 16Peter Silberman 16Jade Jackson 16Girlpool 15Yann Tiersen 15Cass McCombs 14John K. Samson 14The Antlers 14Japandroids 13The Coup 13Busdriver 13Rain Machine 13Lido Pimienta 12The Melodic 12Deafheaven 12Richard Reed Parry 11Kelly Hogan 11Beth Orton 11Keaton Henson 11Ryan Pollie 10Roky Erickson 10Os Mutantes 10Xavier Rudd 10Bob Mould 10Dead Man's Bones 10Beat Connection 10Ben Harper and Charlie... 10Rafiq Bhatia 10Yves Jarvis 9The Locust 9Mose Allison 9Marketa Irglova 9Kate Bush 9Cameron Avery 9Darrin Bradbury 8The Frames 8A Girl Called Eddy 8Greg Graffin 8Boy Scouts 8Purr 7Solillaquists of Sound 7The Field 7Alec Ounsworth 7Combo Chimbita 7Foxwarren 7M. Ward 6Ramblin Jack Elliott 6Broken Twin 6Kronos Quartet with Br... 6N.A.S.A. 6Pops Staples 6Deradoorian 6Jeremy Ivey 6Half Waif 6Christian Lee Hutson 5The Weakerthans 5Tweedy 5Cadence Weapon 5The Swell Season 5Walter Wolfman Washing... 5Mothers 5Marc Ribot 5The Good Ones 5Josiah Johnson 4Eddie Izzard 4Antibalas 4One Day As A Lion 4Muggs 4Petra Haden 4Curtis Harding 4Arc Iris 4case/lang/veirs 3Danny Cohen 3Marianne Faithfull 3Sierra Leones Refugee... 3The Book Of Knots 3Simian Mobile Disco 3Wynonna 3Hey, King! 3Ben Harper 2Chuck E. Weiss 2Blackalicious 2Savath & Savalas 2Spoon (Europe only) 2Billy Bragg 2Lyrics Born 2Various Artists: RANGO 2Screaming Lights (Euro... 2Title Fight 2Jeff Tweedy 2Glitterer 1Nick Cave & The Bad Se... 1Various Artists: ROGUE... 1Rogue's Gallery
See Full List+