Published Oct 25, 2011When Axel Wilner released his groundbreaking debut, From Here We Go Sublime, four years ago, there was no such thing as chillwave, nu-gaze, witch house or glo-fi. In fact, there was little that sounded like his musical project, the Field. Now that layered, out-of-focus electronica is all the rage, Wilner has further distanced himself from the rest of the pack with LP number three, Looping State of Mind. As said title suggests, the Stockholm laptopist has kept the Field's format intact, crafting full-figured techno out of short, footnote-less loops, allowing the listener to drift into eight- and nine-minute concertos. But, as evident with leadoff track "Is This Power," Wilner's newest compositions sound crisper, brighter and more indebted to his Kompakt cohorts than the latest batch of Pitchfork darlings. On the textural, pulsating "Arpeggiated Love" and the outright funky "Looping State of Mind," Wilner demonstrates his uncanny knack for making ten-plus-minute songs sound diminutive and digestible, mostly due to the subtle way he volleys the pitch, allowing songs to ebb-and-flow naturally. On Looping State of Mind, the Field keeps his hit streak alive, topping off a trio of records that sound like they belong to the same family, despite such conflicting DNA.
The fidelity on this album has been placed more in the forefront. Is this a response to the current wave of chillwave producers making lo-fi electronic music?
That was nothing intentional. We had the opportunity to make it the traditional way and it was tempting to do so.
There's beauty to songs like "Then It's White." Do you feel that the inspiration behind your songs come from a more emotional place?
I think it's all from the same place, but maybe it's stronger this time around. It's been a rocky year so...
You chose to use a lot more live instrumentation this time around. Is this just a natural progression of the Field's sound?
I think it happened by accident, with the vocals at least. The instrumentation was there since the live performance turned into a band a few years back. As it now takes up more space live, it was just natural that it would in the studio as well.
Considering your songs are based upon other artists' samples, what do you think it is about your music that connects with so many listeners?
Maybe it is the feeling of recognition, the hidden feelings in the samples or maybe it has nothing to do with that.
Where are you right now?
Right now I'm at home, having a pause between shows.
How are you feeling about the reception of the new album so far?
So far I feel very good! It's a special time when you release an album.
What is the main difference between the writing and recording of Looping State of Mind and your first two records?
It's the time spent in the studio and that we spent time in a real studio.
Are any of your songs about real life experiences or emotions or are they purely aural?
They are all real life packaged into aural.
Do you preview your songs to anyone before you decide that they are finished? How do you know when one of your songs is complete?
They're complete when I can't work on them anymore, so instead of getting stuck, I leave it. I try them out, most of the time, on my girlfriend and some other friends. (Kompakt)