The Field is the stage name of Swedish born Axel Willner, who started making music under said moniker with his 2005 demo Things Keep Falling Down. Looping State of Mind, his third release, expands on previous albums by adding a tighter level of pace and movement, undoubtedly the result of a learned producer.
Unlike previous albums, Looping State of Mind makes a return to a more classic, by classic I mean authentic-not classical, style of ambient techno. While there’s nothing overly fancy, every song on here incorporates seemingly infinite loops and layers, resulting in a refreshingly genuine experience.
“Is this Power”, the first song on the album, opens with awkward synths and evolves into an unexpectedly captivating piece. Perhaps the best song on here, its biggest rival may be the title track and its vivid sense of motion. The album is riddled with fleeting moments of evocative work, with an example being “It’s Up There” and it’s emerging bass line, which cascades through the final minutes of the song and almost sounds like a souped-up version of the Night Rider theme. It works.
There is a certain space that this music creates, which at times can be captivating and at times lulling. You definitely have to be in the right frame of mind when listening to this, as a change in attitude could make all the difference between interpreting it as pretentious disco-club elevator music, or the perfect overcast late night back porch chill album.
Looping State of Mind never strives to be something greater than it is, which is perhaps is strongest point. Willner puts his experience as a producer and craftsman to good use, by perfectly being able to place which part goes where, and exactly when to transition. While every song on here is a repetition of sounds and synths, sometimes with little or no variation, the inclusion of different instruments and melodies elevate it from an ordinary house album to something much more affectionate.
While not a milestone in the genre, Looping State of Mind serves as a perfect example for how this type of music should be made. Willner must have read Dr. Leo Marvin’s book because, with every new release, he’s taken baby steps in the right direction.
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