Album Review: The Field / ‘Cupid’s Head’ (Kompakt)

The Field Cupid's Head


Bowled over, lurching towards danger, a thrillseeker slash foolhardy dancefloor voyager, The Field will not excuse himself for kissing the sky. Unflinchingly long and straightforward synth lines unfurl to take over stadia at a canter. A trance distillation lacks none of the genre’s powers of affirmation. Duplication unto infinity scuba-dives for pearls of dream house and cerebral techno, until its natural, unfettered drift takes it into shark infested waters.

Spread over a mere six tracks means Axel Willner works the headswims so their pendulous swirls place you on their path to ascension, if not always enlightenment. The title track hazes up and down through a loop trigger marking an uncertainty between fantasy and reality, and “No No” is a dramatic triumph of reshaping El-P’s “Stepfather Factory.” Provocative with the most scant of tools, an almost academic prowess is found rounding up a troupe of fallen angels.

The sweet “Black Sea,” keeping with the aquatic analogies, happily laps up the waves before, without warning, something sharp starts nipping at it from below. After spending the album’s majority perched on an exalted pasture, proceedings are moved from open air chill out to gasping techno asylum on a two-for-one deal.

Considering the Swede overcame a degree of writer’s block to get this album underway and still dices with production genius and everything fortunately falling into place, his maintenance of control keeps cool when under pressure, and more importantly, makes the ever-steady interesting and inspirational.

File under: DJ Koze, Loops of Your Heart, Walls

Compilation Review: ’20 Jahre Kompakt, Kollektion 1′ (Kompakt)

20 Jahre Kompakt, Kollektion 1


Well done to those charged with whittling down the electronic titan’s platinum anniversary down to just two discs — let’s also hope part 1 actually means there will be a part 2. Should your opinion of German labels be a stale cliché — maybe it’s those hard Ks in the name lending themselves to straight-talking effectiveness/ruthlessness — you’ll be thrilled by the automation of Justus Köhncke, Leandro Fresco and Dettinger, though perhaps less enamoured with little flits of the flatter that include Matias Aguayo’s “Walter Neff” not seeming to fit in anywhere.

Those knowing Kompakt’s creativity are offered the sumptuously funky (Aguayo via DJ Koze) as a smooth veil to the mechanised edges and components, found in the everlasting chugs of Voigt & Voigt’s disco-techno “Vision 03” and The Field’s “Over the Ice”. Minimalist techno tradition is held close, done as an all-for-one, inclusive against narrow-minded span. Out of Michael Mayer’s good n itchy deep houser “Lovefood,” comes the crossover-ready “Transient” by Pluxus and its snooping Ford tie-in, and Heiko Voss hankering for a hammock gives the collection quite a head-in-the-clouds headstart.

The excellent disc two gets down to business with techno for the head while leaving your heart heaving. It becomes a battle and balance between light and heavy (of which John Tejada is the most brutal), organic and automated (Rex the Dog getting synths to squirt and stun), and the freedom and focus of The Rice Twins, Jonas Bering, Kaito, Lawrence, GusGus and Gui Boratto.

File under: Jurgen Paape, Superpitcher, Terranova