Axel Willner, better known by his moniker The Field — referring to the vast field of music that he takes his influences, and his samples, from — is a picture of concentration. Bent over his set-up of boxes, wires, buttons and knobs, his fringe falling over his forehead, he conjures up beautiful, minimalist techno which inspires devotion from his fans. Last night he played material from his new album Yesterday and Today (out now on Kompact) with percussionist Dan Enqvist and Andreas SÖderstrom, a bass player who also occasionally joined in on the knob-twiddling action.
So what makes The Field so special? There are lots of live techno outfits, many of them are from Scandinavia, and many of them use samples. However, only Willner seems to be able to capture the euphoria of the dancefloor in a concentrated, syncopated beat which weaves and morphs through time, picking up tempo, vocal samples, and percussive strength but never losing its essential melody. This is true soul music. The night ended in a sweaty mess of dancing and smiles as the trio played a storming encore encouraged by the shouting crowd — an evening to be remembered for a long time to come.
by Zoe Jankel