IsraTrance Full Member
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Posted : Apr 18, 2013 10:50:22
Lush, broad-vision digital and acoustic downtempo.
Solar Fields further reveals the path leading to the project's current status as one of the world's foremost electronic artists: swaying grey towers of complex grandeur; thrumming multi-layered beds of electro-organic drones; driving sci-fi mechanisms of cycling grooves and throbbing bass lines. There is a constant sense of dignity and understated elegance about this music - Magnus Birgersson managing to consistently convey powerfully emotive sound images with the utmost professionalism. As with Origin # 01 this release covers much of the range of sound and style that Solar Fields had explored over the years within the downtempo genre.
IN DEPTH Origin # 01 opens with Landform, a piece originating in 2005: smooth, pastoral, gentle introductory bars gradually building with Solar Fields' trademark deliberation into entrancing intricacy and lulling beat. This set-opener builds to a huge climax in the final moments before dissipating back into the soft mists from whence it came. Track two fades symmetrically back out of silence with a pulsing bass-line, swirling effects and environmental flourishes. Magnus weaves a Jew's harp into this ebb and flow of intensity - its distinctive sound altered, blurred. Echo (from 2008) sees something of a shift toward a more Berlin-school approach where a lazy locomotive sequence pattern underpins buoyant pads, airy strains and rich chimes. There is plenty of diversity as the album unfolds: the lustrous glow of Unknown Presence with tantalisingly delicate beat; the static and glitch-flecked build into Surface; the bright, liquid synthesiser dashes of Asteroid that morph unexpectedly into acoustic guitar and break-beat with an almost jazzy-progressive mood - you never quite know what will come next. Falling Shadows comes with a poignant explanation that this track grew out of memories of a life-threatening illness - the falling shadows of the title well-captured in the looming drama and profound intensity of the piece.
Origin # 02 has a sleek, near-monochrome appearance that beautifully complements the music within. The stark, rigid lattice-work of a lonely pylon in silhouette against a metallic-blue sky, edges softened, motion-blurred, thrown into deep haze fills the three-panel spread both inside and out. The limited palette and hi-tech approach to the imagery is, at the same time, both very contemporary and wistfully dreamy. A sixteen-page booklet is tucked away into the end of this attractive digipack sleeve and postcards too accompany the package. The booklet follows Ultimae's customary format: a page for each track of the album concluding with thanks and a portrait of the artist. The imagery inside is highly evocative - atmospheric photo-impressions where lucid details twinkle within soft-focus, zoom-streaked or low-light surrounds. Recording details and some background information is printed on each page along with the running time for the relevant track.
Follow-up to the 2010 Origin # 01 and part two of a four-part series, Magnus Birgersson presents Origin # 02: a retrospective collection from the years 2003 through to 2009. There are ten tracks here that are so well-chosen and carefully sequenced that they could easily have been passed off as new Solar Fields album. Promotional material from Ultimae tells us that: "Warm groovy rhythms set the pace while we drift through deep electronica washed by waves of ethereal pads and mesmerizing melodies." The Ultimae website offers both audio and video opportunities to explore Origin # 02 and the Solar Fields Soundcloud page also offers the chance to listen to the tracks.
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