Playing The Field: The Stockholm Electronica Act Blossoms At Mezzanine
So many bells, hold the whistles: beauty presides on the Field's Yesterday and Today, released not so long ago by those smarty-pants with excellent taste at Anti- Records, making the group's upcoming turn at Mezzanine on June 6 something of a must-see. Of course, coheadliner the Juan Maclean is a delight, too. The DFA act - now fortified on tour with members of LCD Soundsystem, !!!, and Holy Ghost – long ago circumvented the dangerous inertia hitting so many board-bound electronic acts, and it’ll likely rock the haus with intoxicating, booty-moving nuggets ala international hit “Happy House.”
We’ll see what the seldom-stateside Axel Willner, a.k.a., the Field, has to offer. The Stockholm musician’s debut opus, From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt) - with its memorable blend of minimal techno, shoegaze, and trance - never quite made it to these shores as a domestic release. But never mind that. An organic, ambient luminosity seems to be the quality Willner was striving for with this new six-song, hour-plus album - he managed to rope in John Stanier from powerful NYC art-rock combo Battles (and pulverizing post-punk unit Helmet) for the more-than-10-minutes-long, throbbing title track. "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" and "The More That I Do" play off the vinyl snaps and crackles of soul-dappled house and a stripped-bare, euphoric vein of disco, while Willner creates, yes, slow-growing sound fields of pointillist electronics on such tracks as “I Have the Moon, You Have the Internet,” an effect that will have you wondering if listeners will be lavishing long, lingering looks on their footwear or lying on the floor, meditating, at the Mezzanine.
Krautrock as well as noisy UK dream rockers haunted the initial sessions of the recording: Willner forged most of his latest disc alone in late 2008 in Berlin before taking the tracks back to his homeland and toiling on them, in marathon stints, with a friend. Live, he’ll be performing with a few others: percussionist Dan Enqvist and multi-instrumentalist Andreas Soderstrom – a new arrangement since apparently Willner wearied of playing all by his lonesome onstage. Everyone knows gardening is back, but the Internet – and laptop rock – better watch itself, while Willner is tending his Field.
The Field appears with the Juan Maclean and Dirty Rotten. Saturday, June 6, 9 p.m., $20 advance, at Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F. (415) 820-9669.