Cupid's Head by The Field on Apple Music

6 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some may read more into the transition from The Field's off-white minimalist album covers to the black one here, but we’re not convinced there’s a message buried there. Cupid’s Head is the fourth full-length from Swedish artist and producer Axel Willner; it’s a smart amalgam of all that’s come before. It’s slick and glossy; it’s transcendent and mysterious; it’s warm and organic. Willner has made music both solo and with partners, and he's evidently comfortable with both configurations. On Cupid’s Head, he returns to working on his own, but the layers are so dense, textured, and varied, it’s a bit of a surprise that other hands aren't at work here. The title track sustains its core physical form for a full six minutes—hovering and spinning like a wheel suspended on invisible threads—yet the work feels clearly transformed at the end. Loops of grinding, metallic sheets of sparking synths, shadowy vocal snippets, and hollowed-out percussive notes link disparate tunes like the epic “Black Sea” and the bleakly lulling “20 Seconds of Affection.” This is clearly Cupid’s head at work here, not his heart. Watching the wheels at work is oddly fascinating.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some may read more into the transition from The Field's off-white minimalist album covers to the black one here, but we’re not convinced there’s a message buried there. Cupid’s Head is the fourth full-length from Swedish artist and producer Axel Willner; it’s a smart amalgam of all that’s come before. It’s slick and glossy; it’s transcendent and mysterious; it’s warm and organic. Willner has made music both solo and with partners, and he's evidently comfortable with both configurations. On Cupid’s Head, he returns to working on his own, but the layers are so dense, textured, and varied, it’s a bit of a surprise that other hands aren't at work here. The title track sustains its core physical form for a full six minutes—hovering and spinning like a wheel suspended on invisible threads—yet the work feels clearly transformed at the end. Loops of grinding, metallic sheets of sparking synths, shadowy vocal snippets, and hollowed-out percussive notes link disparate tunes like the epic “Black Sea” and the bleakly lulling “20 Seconds of Affection.” This is clearly Cupid’s head at work here, not his heart. Watching the wheels at work is oddly fascinating.

TITLE TIME
8:59
11:35
6:32
8:14
9:00
9:39

About The Field

Axel Willner is one of the Kompakt label's most beloved and polarizing techno artists. This is due to his richly emotive sound, which has varied only slightly across the years. The Swedish instrumentalist and producer debuted the Field with Things Keep Falling Down (February 2005). A stunning entry, the 12" contained a pair of blissed-out trance-techno tracks over ten minutes in length -- one of which, "Thought vs. Action," made clever use of the intro to the Four Tops' "I'll Be There." The second 12", Sun and Ice (April 2006), incorporated samples of Lionel Richie and Kate Bush and led to the Field's first album, From Here We Go Sublime (March 2007). Two of Willner's dreamiest and most impressive tracks appeared on Kompakt's Pop Ambient 2007 and Pop Ambient 2008 compilations prior to Yesterday and Today (May 2009), a rhythmically varied set due to the involvement of several instrumentalists, including Battles drummer John Stanier. Looping State of Mind (October 2011) boasted Willner's brawniest compounds of shoegaze, ambient dub, and techno. Cupid's Head (October 2013) and The Follower (April 2016), as indicated by their sleeve colors, offered darker moods and were, like the debut, created strictly by Willner. The producer has also taken part in the group Cologne Tape, and has recorded under a handful of solo aliases, including Loops of Your Heart. ~ Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    Sweden

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