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Field Kit build a coherent architecture out of classical and electronica

"Field Kit"

Release date: 04 June 2021
Field Kit Field Kit
03 June 2021, 09:00 Written by Ray Honeybourne
Named after a piece of hardware capable of translating radio and electrical output into an assortment of sounds, Field Kit is Berlin duo Hannah von Hubbenet and John Gurtler, both former students of film composition after originally graduating from the German capital’s late-17th century University of the Arts.

The combination of classical instruments (von Hubbenet is a violinist, Gurtler a pianist) and electronica is presented on this album with intelligence and a marked aversion to formless indulgence.

This mature approach encourages attention to elemental contributions to the structural unity of individual tracks. The pulse rhythm of “Substance” allows a fine interplay of crackle and the metallic-industrial to complement wordless vocals, and the drone effect in “String Drift” keeps a firm hold on the simple yet forceful string forays that, paradoxically, give a sense of direction rather than of aimless meander. There is gentle movement, certainly, but it has a definite destination.

Throughout the album, one senses an awareness of the importance of not overloading the synthesis of acoustic and industrial. The results are consistently persuasive, allowing (on “Downward Rising”) the slow cello sound to morph into a siren effect with remarkable resonance.

The sonic range is not vast, yet within it the effects work fully in their thought-through variety, and the use of glissandro recurs but is never over-imposed. This is a debut that does not draw attention so much to its individual components but, instead, convinces most clearly through its fine coherent architecture.

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