Review Summary: An immense, astrological voyage.
Since his debut LP in 2001, Solar Fields
(the pseudonym of Swedish ambient producer and multi-instrumentalist, Magnus Birgersson) has been nothing if not active. With 9 full-length solo releases, numerous collaborations with contemporaries such as Aes Dana
and a plethora of video-game and film scores to his name Solar Fields
, by all rights, should be a well-recognised name by now. That he is not remains a mystery, as it's certainly not due to any lack of quality in his work. As it was as far back as his 3rd solo release that Solar Fields
, up to the point still finding his feet, really established himself as such a sought after composer.
What makes Leaving Home
so special is that it's the full realisation of Magnus' borderline obsession with creating "an evolving dream". Something with a clear sense of progression, which slowly unfurls as the listener travels its length. As the title suggests, in part it is about abandoning the focus on your own surroundings and surrendering yourself to what promises to be an immense, astrological voyage into the unknown.
And “immense” certainly is the word for it. Solar Fields
places his multitude of layers in such a way that they seem set vast distances away from each other. The thick, insistent beeping of the melodies veils the trance-like bass beneath, forever pulsating; driving the album onwards. On top of this, broad washes of ambience establish the galactic scale; allowing an assortment of percussion and synths to arrive and depart discretely. The melody in Air Song
, for instance, repeats itself subtlety behind this haze, becoming all the more powerful in its consistently understated existence. To this extent: the album is composed and mixed masterfully. Certain elements will only become known in time, despite – in some cases – having played for the duration of a piece.
As the album comes to the end, wavering on the melancholy of the title track, you are left with a profound sadness when faced with transferring yourself back into the world as we know it. One that suddenly appears so claustrophobic and flat as you contrast it with Leaving Home
. But while you can only dream of experiencing such a journey first hand, there’s always the repeat button.