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The Field

The Field, or Axel Willner, is a Swedish DJ and producer of electronic music, currently living in Berlin. His work is described by many as hypnotizing, sentimental and strongly looped IDM.

In Axel Willner’s emotionally saturated, almost narcotic compositions, we will almost always meet looped sequences with a clear, measured beat. Although the artist himself does not like it when his music is described as techno, it is the lovers of this genre that have become the group that most appreciates his work.

Over the years spent in the industry, Axel Willner hid under several artistic pseudonyms. He started his adventure with music as an ambient Cordouan, more drone Lars Blek and minimal Porte. However, it was only the fourth project he created, The Field, that was noticed by fans of electronics. Thanks to the characteristic structure of his compositions and the atmosphere that accompanies us while listening to his music, this incarnation became the most important and dominated his further career. The musical development of the Swede would definitely not have gained such a fast pace, if not for the fact that at some point the famous label from Cologne – Kompakt became interested in him. Most of The Field’s releases were released by this label. In almost every album released by him at two-year intervals, we will find sounds that combine techno, ambient and microhouse. Willner accustomed us to compositions that, despite their monotonous form, captivate with memorable melodies and warmth. When listening to The Field’s songs, we try to look at them from a slightly broader perspective, we will discover captivating simplicity and optimism that puts us in a better mood.

In the musical atmosphere accompanying the latest full-length album of the Swede (released at the end of August 2013), there was a subtle change. This time, The Field decided that during the production of the album he would not cooperate with other artists and would compose the songs that appeared on it. That’s probably why we feel like this album is more personal than the others. When listening to “Cupid’s Head” we sense the presence of a certain amount of darkness, which is definitely different from what we are used to in previous releases of Axel Willner. This change is also visible on the cover of the Swede’s fourth album. Unlike all previous releases, maintained in light and pastel colors, the dust jacket “Cupid’s Head” is dominated by black.

The Swedish producer not only creates music from scratch, he also remixes existing releases. He has a large number of new versions of works that share Willner’s specific style. We are talking about remixes of such artists as: Junior Boys, Thom York or Walls. The latest release of The Field is the album “Cupid’s Head Remixe I”, which was released on January 20, 2014. Like the first album in The Field’s career, it was released by the German label Kompakt. The album features variations on the song “Cupid’s Head” performed by artists such as Vatican Shadow, Barker & Baumecker and Sonns. In addition, soon, on February 10, 2014, the Ecstatic label will release the debut album of a new music project in which the Swede is involved – HANDS. As Willner himself announces, the nois-drone album “The Soul Is Quick” will be a kind of continuation of musical considerations directed a bit more towards dark sounds. Bearing in mind what we heard on “Cupid’s Head”, we can to some extent imagine what the Swedish producer is preparing for us.

The Field is a character that often causes controversy. He tries to combine dance and experimental elements in his compositions, which in itself requires a lot of courage. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the world of increasingly demanding music recipients we will find both supporters and opponents of his approach. Without a doubt, The Field has developed a style over the years that you can like or dislike, but certainly can’t be imitated. He gives the impression of a man who, in the process of producing new compositions, is not guided by the trends prevailing at the moment, but by his musical intuition. In my eyes, this makes him a creator who definitely deserves at least a moment of our attention.

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