Exploring Film, Music, Art and the Wider Cultural Themes that Surround Them

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Cultural Bulletin discusses Experimental Music, Independent Cinema and the wider cultural themes that surround them.

IN REVIEW: THE FIELD - INFINITE MOMENT

Label: Kompakt

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Every record that Axel Willner has released under The Field has been an interaction with a notion of the contemporary. His latest record, Infinite Moment, carries on what could now can be defined as a tradition of the artist’s other works. His music presents us with fragments, moments and what could be defined as cultural artefacts of our time -  more than just musical expressiveness. This is not music that is simply made but rather something that occurs, a distillation of our culture - moods and patterns which are presented meticulously and emotively. Infinite Moment - a fitting title (both for a record made by The Field and anything released in 2018), captures something of the infinite and is specific to our current collective conception of what it means.

As finite beings, we understand that our time is limited and with the exponential development in technology we have been able to more directly interact the concept of ‘forever’. The internet is an entity that increasingly has the quality of tangible space, an omnipotent world that houses every piece of information spanning the history of recorded time - including us. Its power is felt acutely, it seems infinite and so, could be conceptualised as a microcosm of our universe, continually expanding, exponentially and out of anybody's control. We now have our own conceptual framework of understanding for algorithms and their self-perpetuating nature. They grow by themselves, perform tasks that we don't understand and will absolutely outlive anybody alive in 2018. It's as if The Field has become more relevant as technology progresses - it is spatially and aesthetically connected, all of which points to a truth that manifests through Infinite Moment.

We have long associated the future of digital technology with a notion of clarity and smoothness, unemotional and clean. Whatever way the future (beyond humanity) manifests sound, it is no longer inconceivable to imagine self-developed software producing something deeply emotional and brilliant. It's a reality that is around the corner and it holds a potential that will again present us with a new notion of the infinite. Perhaps in the future, our favourite music will be produced by algorithms - owned by no-one, existing as rootless artefacts that appear within our vast online space, seemingly from nowhere.

When speaking to Cultural Bulletin, Willner described this latest record as an interaction with hope - something that he was struggling to find globally, politically and in the music he was hearing. Loss of hope is inextricably connected to control and the feeling that things are running away from us and faster than we can handle. Friends of Willner said that they found Infinite Moment to be more melancholic than hopeful. Perhaps, rather than finding hope, The Field offered control and interaction with this loss -  an opportunity to form an expressive dialogue with those internal doubts.

Track 4, 'Something Left, Something Right, Something Wrong' represents a less serene image than can be heard in Infinite Moment's predecessor, The Follower. The track is a perpetual hand grasping for something intangible, undefined and always out of reach. The most influential instrument to Willner when making this record was the Melatron, whose haunting voice sounds out statically and eternally in ‘Who Goes There’. Who do these voices belong to and what are they trying to communicate? AG