Sometimes it’s necessary for electronic music to provide some warmth, depth, sometimes it’s ok to combine a hybrid mix of luddite and technophilic sensibilities, man maketh the machine, the machine do not maketh the man. Sometimes techno can do with a god damn heartbeat. Enter The Field to provide the circulatory electronic system needed to pump some blood through the wired veins of Bungalow and Bears sound system.
Joining Sheffield’s Pygmie Globetrotters and Forest Creature for an extraordinary rare free gig, (yurp that is correct, FREE) the Kompact signed swede, known also as Axel Willner, is accompanied by live guitar, bass and drums. Together they look more like a warped metal band, all tattooed up with a wife beater vest thrown in for good measure but the sound produced is far removed from what their attire might suggest. Delicate, danceable rhythms that pull in a large hipster crowd and most importantly get them moving. The sort of beats that are repetitive but not tediously monotonous, the sort of driving beats that make you want to dance until your feet bleed. Motorik beats that give a mechanical nod to Can and Neu!
80’s power ballad ‘Everybodys Got to Learn Sometime’ by The Korgis is translated into a dreamy, whimsical mantra, gently aided by light tribal like drumming. As much as some are transfixed by the beat, others are most probably lost in the cyclical luscious soundscapes The Field is clearly renowned for.
Watching from the side of the stage to admire the drumming, the live instrumentation really elevates the spectacle, it’s no longer Vladislav Delay (whos performance at East London based Concrete and Glass last year failed to thrill visually) hunched over a laptop with an icy stare transfixed by a blank screen. What kind of a human being can pretend to be enthralled by that?
It’s often hard to catch any of the onstage antics, every so often the tip of a shiny bald head bobs up above the crowd at the front, but maybe sometimes a shiny bald head is all you need to see.
Who said you can’t get something for nothing.