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The Field: Yesterday And Today

When The Field, a.k.a. Axel Willner, first took critics by storm in 2007, they praised the Swedish microhouse producer for the grace and mood he brought to the dance genre. But as subtly colored as songs like “Sun And Ice” were, the backbeat of Willner’s debut From Here We Go Sublime was disco’s golden standard: four-to-the-floor, and don’t spare the bass. The drums seemed neglected amid a bounty of tightly chopped melodic samples, so it’s good news that Willner fixes this upfront for The Field’s sophomore LP, Yesterday And Today. The opener “I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet” slowly comes into focus on a soft pulse of keys and synths, and when the beat arrives, it doesn’t so much “drop” as grow out of the atmosphere. For his take on The Korgis’ “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime,” Willner replaces the original’s rainy-day meandering with something tight but faithfully mournful, and drums that would be at home on Vespertine. Later, on the title track, Willner organically pushes expansive clubby psychedelia into a live-instrument jam session featuring drummer John Stanier (Battles, Tomahawk). The album lags in the middle, where the songs break the 10-minute mark, but it feels as if Willner is stretching out, matching his further explorations into the ambient (the live chimes on “Leave It,” the shimmering guitar on “The More That I Do”) with beats that don’t distract. Though it’s on par with its predecessor in terms of repetition, Yesterday And Today is also on that level in terms of quality—which should mean no disappointments.


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