Solar Fields
Ourdom


3.7
great

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
March 31st, 2018 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A peaceful journey inspired by South African landscapes…

The Swedish psybient/trance composer Solar Fields has become one of the most easily recognizable artists in the genre due to the constant high quality output released as well as multiple appearances on several soundtracks or compilations over the years. The moment I read Magnus Birgersson recorded most of Ourdom in South Africa in a rather pastoral environment (a wooden house on a coastline), I expected it to be a mostly ambient affair. It is indeed a relaxed record, however, the man focused on dynamics too, so we're treated to another trademark sonic roller coaster.

In my opinion, Ourdom shares an optimistic vibe, always shape shifting from expansive tracks to contemplative drones. The opening trio, ‘Burning View’, ‘Shifting Nature’ & ‘Into the Sun’ are nice mood setters, the former gradually growing with pulsating synths and airy pads, which beautifully transition to the piano-led ‘Shifting Nature’. I wish Solar Fields developed this ditty more, because the chords are really touching. Nevertheless, ‘Into the Sun’ settles onto a smooth, progressive pattern that finally bursts as the lovely ‘Forgiveness’. This highlight creates a lush atmosphere, as if you’re somewhere out in a vivid open field on a sunny day. The warm notes and deep bass sound exquisite together, borrowing a post-rock-esque formula. Then, we’re reminded this is still a psytrance LP, as ‘Mountain King’ unfolds from dreamy drones into an after midnight party. The sequencers gently take over, whereas the steady beats sustain the entire foundation. As a result, everything sounds really positive and fun. Magnus offers us a short detour through the subdued ‘Wave Cascade’, before launching into another mid-tempo rager, ‘Moving Lines’. Those who enjoyed Random Friday will find these upbeat tracks just as cool and liberating.

Nevertheless, the focus isn’t on club-ready themes this time, as the second half of the album features another suite that is slightly more meditative overall. Birgersson steadily builds again with cuts like ‘Joshua’s Shop’ or ‘Parallel Universe’. The former is rather a lounge number, using chimes and bells alongside piano leads to create a chill vibe, until the huge synths take over. ‘Parallel Universe’, on the other hand, is a slow burner that unveils its grooves only halfway through. These darker moments give way to ‘The Daylight Carrier’, which boasts some more psybient goodies Solar Fields expertly creates. This slightly shy approach, throwing a few expansive chords followed by a retreat into brooding progressions makes things interesting, yet sometimes you just want everything to explode into a big party. At the end, ‘Siren Song of Glass’ puts us to sleep with its droning howls and background bass. In a way, it feels a bit rushed, since it’s a sudden conclusion to a 20-minute build up. It’s like you’re ready for another round, only to be told the bar’s closing now.

Ultimately, Ourdom winds up as a truly enjoyable record, even though it lacks a punchier climax. If Solar Fields had added some more of Random Friday or EarthShine influences (at least one more raver at the end to top the journey), there would have been a bigger pay off. This is my only complaint regarding this LP, and arguably a subjective one. Otherwise, the production is crystalline, the drones are soothing, while the transitions are really carefully done.




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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2018


4473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Another great album! Listen/buy here: http://solarfields.bandcamp.com/album/ourdom



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZCF8ngqeA8

Digging: Gozu - Equilibrium

parksungjoon
March 31st 2018


7644 Comments


artist is a god, whole record label are gods etc.

great review mr stoner rock authority cant wait to hear this

Digging: A.A.L. (Against All Logic) - 2012-2017

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2018


4473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Haha, thanks!

It gets better with each listen.

BenThatsMyJamin
March 31st 2018


1667 Comments


One of my fave electronic musicians, need to check

BenThatsMyJamin
March 31st 2018


1667 Comments


Also yes obviously great review but that's why you're staff :-)

parksungjoon
March 31st 2018


7644 Comments


one of the most underappreciated reviewers here

ppl dont like stoner rock that much i guess

trilogique21
March 31st 2018


1658 Comments


gotta check this solar fields is king

Digging: Sleep - The Sciences

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2018


4473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks man! I'm happy if someone reads and checks out the albums I review, if not, no problem. I try to move away from stoner reviews, but occasionally I find a new cool one and don't want to let it slip unnoticed.

chug73
March 31st 2018


3437 Comments


Solar Fields always serves up the productions goods

Evok
March 31st 2018


7133 Comments


niiiice new solar fields is always a good thing

Digging: Dark Buddha Rising - II

foxblood
March 31st 2018


8489 Comments


ooh new solar fields

TheSpaceMan
April 1st 2018


10605 Comments


Sweet, gonna check. Nice review

Keyblade
April 1st 2018


25536 Comments


ooh new solar fields [2]

TheSpaceMan
April 1st 2018


10605 Comments


ive only heard their first three, is the discog worth peeping?

parksungjoon
April 1st 2018


7644 Comments


fuck yeah it is dude

Pho3nix
April 1st 2018


447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great! you can really hear the African influences in this

Digging: Paleowolf - Primordial

onionbubs
April 1st 2018


8016 Comments


oh hell yea looks like i gotta check this

Digging: Underoath - Disambiguation

Keyblade
April 1st 2018


25536 Comments


"ive only heard their first three, is the discog worth peeping?"

for sure. his next 3 are even better. Movements and Earthshine being his best

TheSpaceMan
April 1st 2018


10605 Comments


Nice you guys have me excited

Essence
April 1st 2018


6123 Comments


yeah he basically never makes bad music



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