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The Field: The Follower [Digipak]

Track List

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Album Reviews:

Spin - "The Field's muscular micro-loops are meant for small spaces -- high-quality headphones, or crowded 250-capacity venues."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[E]lectronica maven Axel Willner offers hypnotic, moody techno and shimmering ambience."

Album Notes

Personnel: Axel Willner (synthesizer).

Audio Mixers: Axel Willner; Sam Barker .

Recording information: Garmonbozia Studios, Berlin.

Photographer: Sonia Alvarez.

Looking at The Follower in physical form, there are no indications of a major change in Axel Willner's approach to techno. The cover of the producer's fifth album as the Field features the same print over solid background as the previous albums. Just as the black-on-black look of the preceding Cupid's Head signaled a downbeat disposition, the white-on-black here suggests that nothing is liable to trigger a euphoric rush like the best of the earlier works. Similar to Cupid's Head, The Follower was created strictly by Willner with no ancillary musicians. The producer ensured some freshness, however, by acquiring a raft of new gear prior to its recording. Surprising to no one, the album's six tracks are served in large portions -- Minutemen re-edits they ain't -- ranging from nine to 14 minutes in length, and they offer undulating, frequently blurry composites of sampled vocals, diaphanous synthesizer patterns, and flickering and squalling guitars over cushioned beats. The opener, the title track, verges on acid menace, like a backdrop for viewing dark gray clouds as they cluster together and break apart. A further standout, "Monte Verità," is among Willner's most aggressive and threatening work, both in tempo and in its hulking bass. Stately finale "Reflecting Lights" could pass for a Burger/Ink reunion track, its steady and unhurried thump, pattering percussion, and slowly developing melody, seemingly affected by a gentle breeze, evoking a tranquil stasis. As ever, indisposed listeners with little patience will hear Willner's tracks as distended and routine. Those who can't get enough of the stuff have another reliably durable set of techno that draws from dream pop, dub, and Krautrock. It has the potential to stupefy, if in very familiar fashion. ~ Andy Kellman



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