Friday, January 25, 2008

The Sound of Light

I initially became familiar with The Field some time last year when a friend of mine adamantly recommended that I listen to his album From Here We Go Sublime. His brand of electronic music isn't normally something that I seek out, call it minimal techno or whatever you like, as it tends to fall just outside of my musical interest. But I was willing to give it a shot because I enjoy all sorts of electronic music, and I enjoy music that presents a challenge. As a friend is so eloquently put it recently, "I would rather listen to something appropriately irritating then something brainlessly boring."

As it turned out, I enjoyed the album thoroughly. In fact I liked it so much that I included it in my "Best of 2007" list. The album is so hypnotic and fluid that I find myself going back to it over and over again when I'm looking for something out of the ordinary. From Here We Go Sublime is also up for a Plug Award for electronic/dance album of the year, and you can check out all of the nominees and make your picks at

The Field (Axel Willner) was recently commissioned by Stockholm's Nordic Light Hotel to interpret his stay there, which resulted in a new four track EP. The hotel has created a music project called ”Sound of Light”, and the goal is to portray the hotel through music by inviting musicians to interpret the hotel experience, and express that experience by making a record. "As a producer of minimal, icy tracks bathed in shoegaze levels of reverberation, Willner is a natural choice to project the cool comfort of such a style-conscious and sparse establishment." -MilkFactory

He is the first artist to participate in the series, and his production is comprised of four parts: Morning, Day, Evening and Night. Each part has a distinct feel and composition designed to mimic the feelings of the different times of day, and the music goes through subtle changes to reflect those differences.
Pitchfork said:
"Fans of last year's transcendent From Here We Go Sublime will happily find more of the same here, and if Sound of Light is somewhat less satisfying, it's a matter of structure, not technique. Willner's greatest asset is his ability to realize one perfect idea per song, and to let it go precisely in the narrow range between making its point and wearing out its welcome."
and as Crackers United put it:
"Sound of Light is like a “classical” album, but comprised of all electronic elements; violins, cellos, and pianos are replaced by electronic beats and samples. Hypnotic and simply gorgeous."