chill•out \ chil-aût \ vb + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n
Almost two years to the month since Axel Willner's Looping State of Mind, the live-techno auteur returns with another collection of dense electronic statements. The six tracks here are undeniably a direct extension of his last LP, yet Cupid's Head goes far to carry the Field sound forward, even if it is through a series of tightly-wound tracks that evolve so subtly their diminutive changes can often go unnoticed.
For fans of the Field's signature mesmerizing soundscapes, there's more to enjoy in Willner's latest. It's keenly felt in the driving immediacy of "Black Sea" and the slick pulse and massaging synth tones of "A Guided Tour,"as much as it is in the lush looping sample of the record's title track and the orchestrated static of set closer "20 Seconds of Affection." At every point, the Swedish producer has succeed in elevating his output beyond his past few efforts—and this considering the last met with strong praise on this site.
If 2011's Looping State of Mind signaled a sonic shift toward mellow, if no less trance-like fair, Cupid's Head finds a better middle ground. Here, the Field strikes a more harmonious balance between techno mechanics of old and live band instrumentation favored more recently, all the while maintaining the blissful melodic hypnotism that makes his work so easy to get lost in.
— Joshua P. Ferguson
STREAM: The Field | Cupid's Head