The Field 

Yesterday and Today

The latest disc by the Field — the nom de musique of Swedish musician/producer Axel Willner — could have been titled The Last Days of Disco. While projecting undertones of pensiveness, Yesterday and Today evokes memories of the glistening dance-floor mirror ball in the era where dance music was still called "disco."

Yesterday doesn't have a retro approach, however — the technology and the lustrously languorous and warm production are of this decade's IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) and electronica performers. (Examples: Oval, Aphex Twin, and Mouse on Mars.) What Willner and company play here brings to mind the Giorgio Moroder productions for diva Donna Summer (her 1977-80 glory years) and eccentric rockers Sparks (their 1979 disc No. 1 in Heaven). This has the hallmarks of Moroder's style — out-front, metronome-like beat, rhythm-driven and repetitive, and adorned with airy, sweet, brief melodic motifs. Occasionally, such as on the title track, a bit of dub influence (ethereal echo) is heard, as is the motoric rush of early Kraftwerk ("Autobaun" era). "The More That I Do" brings past and more recent styles together — the shimmer of ambient house and chill-out, the inexorable cadence of industrial styles (late Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV), and a looped, surreally mixed female vocal sample that drills into your cranium like the earwig in that Night Gallery episode.

If dance-in-trance is your cup of tea or you're nostalgic for your American Gigolo/"Le Freak" heyday, put the aptly titled Yesterday and Today on your short list. (Kompakt/Anti-)


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