Review Summary: Sublime indeed.
The Field (real name Alex Willner) is a watchmaker, an ardent horologist of techno who spends his days deconstructing samples and arranging them into unrecognizable forms. His mastery of time, or just how long a sound should continue, is always on full display; four-on-the-floor beats ride patiently in the background while various synths and snippets of sound hover in and out of the mix. After signing on with Wolfgang Voigt's Kompakt label in 2005, Willner gradually worked his way toward his first full-length, 2007's From Here We Go Sublime
First of all, let's get it out of the way: From Here We Go Sublime
is repetitive. If you are easily bored and need music that constantly changes, then this album probably isn't for you. Many of the changes here are often subtle, such as an extra click in a beat or a bass line gradually fading into the mix. That being said, the first half of From Here We Go Sublime
is as close to anthemic as minimal techno can get. "A Paw in My Face," which samples Lionel Richie's "Hello," works through a slinky guitar line and builds on the illusion of a crescendo. In reality, this heightening of senses is a result of altered rhythms and extra sounds. Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere" is contorted into what is "Everday." Alternating sections are thrown at the listener for over two minutes, building up a tension that can only be compared to the process of masturbating. Suddenly the beat drops out and a fluttering voice echoes before the orgasm comes crashing in, a sticky mess of stuttering vocals and heavy "oon-tss" beats. When the song is finished, there won't be an ounce of shame left in you.
Starting with "Silent" (the one song where Chris Martin sounds good) and album centerpiece "The Deal," From Here We Go Sublime
leans more in the direction of ambience. While the standard beats are still present, the emphasis on reverb-soaked micro-vocals and floating synth sounds is obvious. Despite the intrusive high pitched sound that pops up halfway through, the latter track is entrancing, with a breathy female voice that drifts and swirls about. "The Deal" is the closest Willner comes to Wolfgang Voigt's lush Gas atmospheres or even a certain few tracks from Selected Ambient Works 85-92
. The remainder of the album is less eventful but pleasant nonetheless, foraging deeper into the vaporous annals of techno to bring out different elements of its sound. When the eponymous track reveals its Four Tops origin, it sounds both completely alien and terrestrial; when the watchmaker shows you the gears, you can't help but stare in wonder.