The Field – Yesterday and Today

June 19, 2009

yesterdayLet’s face it. Techno has, both as a great strength and also something of a weakness, the fact that it is a “singles-oriented enterprise.” By which I mean not just that its standard format is the single track as opposed to the full-length lp, but also that the job of a great techno track is to pull you in right away. Instant gratification. Listening to techno, I’m tempted to say, is kind of like staring into the sun, in that it temporarily blinds you to everything else.

I guess that intensity is what’s needed to keep the momentum going on the dancefloor. But, what it all too often also means for me is that there’s a certain element of disposability there too. A lot of times I’ll listen to the same song on repeat for days, only to toss it away forever once the novelty wears off.

None of that applies, however, to The Field‘s new album, “Yesterday and Today.” This lp picks up right where its predecessor, 2007’s excellent “From Here We Go Sublime,” left off, using layered electronics and samples to form mesmerizing patterns that unfold over six tracks spanning 60 minutes. Listening to this album is like watching a school of fish, as individual components surface, shimmer, then resubmerge.

Indeed, despite all the electronics, Axel Willner’s work always sounds surprisingly organic to me, a feeling that is underscored on this new album by the “real drumming” of John Stanier of Battles and, even more interesting in my view, Helmet, as Helmet was another group who consistently delivered more than what first met the eye.

So while “Yesterday and Today” does pull you in right away, its many “subtleties a spectrograph would miss” begin to reveal themselves only after repeated listening. The sum is an enduring classic, which you can stream from the Kompakt Records webpage.


One Response to “The Field – Yesterday and Today”

  1. Samson Says:

    Great review of a fantastic album. They did not disappoint live, either. If you get a chance you should check out the EP Sounds of Light.

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