The Field's debut album was raved about in many places in 2007, and while I enjoyed its minimalist techno / shoegaze crossover aesthetic, I thought the actual tunes and rhythms were a little one-dimensional, rendering From Here We Go Sublime as little more than ambient music with a nice steady 4/4 pulse to me.
So I wasn't all that fussed about a follow-up, to be honest. Then I heard that John Stanier of Battles and Helmet was drumming on a track or too, that there were only six songs, that it was filled out with ideas a bit more than the debut... so I investigated.
And I'm super glad I did, because Yesterday & Today is better than The Field's debut in pretty much every way: rhythms are better, the banks of synths are better, the tunes are better, it's more emotional, each song has more ideas, the use of real drums and guitars gives an added textural dimension, and layers and grooves are built more convincingly than before.
The whole album holds holds my attention way better than the last, even (especially, in fact) when things get really minimal - the stripped back percussion & bass coda to the title track, for instance, excites me far more than anything on the debut did.
Then there's the closing track, Sequenced. Oh my! An epic 16-minute quasi-electric kraut jam that's like Moon Revolutions or Mother Sky or something, an irresistible groove that you want to go on for ever and ever. And the last 3 minutes is just the most blissful music I've heard all year - my only complaint is that this part of the tune doesn't go on forever.
The Field isn't really minimal techno or dance music, which a lot of people label him (them?) as; what attracts and delights me about Yesterday & Today is that it's basically a meld of electro/organic shoegaze / krautrock. Along with Patrick Wolf, Bill Callahan, and Grizzly Bear, this is my favourite album of the year so far.
on 2 March 2010
Yesterday and Today works better through headphones than in the club. You'd get too many people transfixed, just staring out into the middle distance. But, not unlike a Towers of Asia record, that's what makes it such a powerful experience to listen to on your own.
I do not own the first field album, so new to the field but certainly not new to the genre, and I have to say man alive!
Anyone who can take the core essence of Pink Floyds "dogs" (not sampled, just essence) and throw this into a remake of the classic "Everybody's gotta learn sometime" earns 5 stars alone.
this is a beautiful album and sits extremely nicely as an electronic "step up" between my Max Richter, Johann Johannsson, murcof albums and alognside Trentmoller, lulu rouge..
Throughily throughily recomended
An excellent follow up to the critically acclaimed first album, this is where electronica meets minimalism, with a dash of krautrock and shoegaze. Its propulsive and enveloping, great to listen to on headphones. Almost hypnotic.