Very few manage to slide by with very little, however, for the select handful, they’re oftentimes epitomized disparately as a special breed of performers who’ve not only honed their craft but have allowed their methodologies to be fully engrossed with ambition.
Techno guru, Axel Willner, is decidedly one of these people. Infinite Moment, his sixth full-length under his moniker, The Field, shows Willner upholding his calibre with poise and self-assurance. Within its six tracks, he not only embraces his pronounced style, but seizes new subtleties of expansive growth.
Infinite Moment begins with hostility. Its opening track, “Made of Steel, Made of Stone”, plays with form that Willner has long-specialized in. From its delicate to penetrating tonal varieties that mimic evacuation sirens, from soft, rumbling bass thuds, and tight hi-hat snaps, Willner is positively in his element. But before you can differentiate its structure and the ways in which he unites sound, Willner has slyly pulled you inside the track, your mind bent and locked in absolute reverie from its abstraction. Although an easing first track, it’s one that certifies how vigilant and more calculating he’s become since The Follower. “Divide Now” is the album’s strongest and most traditional in the sense of Willner’s style; it even calls to mind the framework behind “Black Sea” from 2013’s Cupid’s Head. Here, Willner is a master with in-song transition. Slightly before its halfway point, he switches gears and slows the track. With treated percussion bangs, its momentum transcends before finally cascading out.
From the ghostly “Hear Your Voice”, the undemanding nature of “Something Left, Something Right, Something Wrong”, and album closer, “Infinite Moment” – all three are Infinite Moment’s most unchanging. While these tracks tend to borderline into flat areas, Willner’s also cognizant to adjust their dimensions as needed, but this isn’t the first time he’s approached songs in this fashion. “Soft Streams” and “Reflecting Lights” from The Follower are quite paralleled. While these tracks remain static in form, Willner in no rush to get them where they need to be or rather simply allowing them to exist. Although a straightforward idea to let a track ride out, its end result is rather disorienting. It takes a paralytic form, coming to a point when you begin questioning what you’re hearing, every time leading to different outcomes and subtle nuances that you failed to pick up on before – take any artist that thrives in repetition: Richie Hawtin, Shinichi Atobe, Jan Jelinek, etc. – as listeners we succumb to the style, its vortex, and we unknowingly pass back and forth between sedation and consciousness.
“Who Goes There” follows this style. Beginning with warped vocal echoes placed atop soft, flickering pitter pats, Willner thoughtfully transitions to a more up-tempo rollick towards its conclusion with hissing cymbal taps and dense rumbling strikes before abruptly fizzling out into nothing. But while Infinite Moment shares all of what we love about Willner, from the sleek production to its all-encompassing ambient, techno groove, one thing’s certain: he has an innate ability of gifting stunningly unorthodox dance club tracks. Since the very beginning of his debut, From Here We Go Sublime, Willner has remained a top-tier stalwart and in one grand, sweeping gesture secures the reality of being one of the very few who continually sound like no one else while expertly giving little in return.