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THE FIELD

The Beths

Expert In A Dying Field

    The third LP from the New Zealand quartet houses 12 jewels of tight, guitar-heavy songs that worm their way into your head, an incandescent collision of power-pop and skuzz. With Expert, The Beths wanted to make an album meant to be experienced live, for both the listeners and themselves. They wanted it to be fun -- to hear, to play -- in spite of the prickling anxiety throughout the lyrics, the fear of change and struggle to cope.

    Most of Expert was recorded at guitarist Jonathan Pearce’s studio on Karangahape Road in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand) -- and sometimes in the building's cavernous stairwell at 1am -- toward the end of 2021, until they were interrupted by a four-month national lockdown. They traded notes remotely for months, songwriting from afar and fleshing out the arrangements alone, the first time they’d written together in such a way. The following February, The Beths left the country for the first time in more than two years to tour across the US, and simultaneously finish mixing the album on the road. That latter half felt more collaborative, with everyone on-hand to trade notes in real time, until it all culminated in a chaotic three-day studio mad-dash in Los Angeles. There, Expert finally became the record they were hearing in their heads.

    Expert is an extension of the same skuzzy palette the band has built across their catalog, pop hooks embedded in incisive indie rock. The album’s title track “Expert In A Dying Field” introduces the thesis for the record: “How does it feel to be an expert in a dying field? How do you know it’s over when you can’t let go?” Stokes asks. “Love is learned over time ‘til you’re an expert in a dying field.”

    The rest is a capsule of The Beths’ most electrifying and exciting output, a sonic spectrum: “Your Side” is a forlorn and sincere love song, emotive; while “Silence is Golden,” with its propulsive drum line and stop-start staccato of a guitar line winding up and down, is one of the band’s sharpest and most driving. “When You Know You Know” skews a bit groovier, pure pop and a natural addition to the band’s live set. “Knees Deep” was written last minute, but yields one of the best guitar lines on Expert. There’s a certain chaos across the 12 tracks, the palpable joy of playing music with long-time friends colliding with the raw nerves of pain.

    Stokes strings it all together through her singular songwriting lens, earnest and self-effacing, zeroing in on the granules of doubt and how they snowball. Did I do the wrong thing? Or did you? And are we still good people at the end of it? She isn’t interested in villains, but instead interested in just telling the story. That insecurity and thoughtfulness, translated into universality and understanding, has been the guiding light of The Beths’ output since 2016. In the face of pain, there’s no dwelling on internal anguish - instead, through The Beths’ music, our shortcomings are met with acceptance. And Expert In A Dying Field is the most tactile that tenderness has been. 


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Expert In A Dying Field
    2. Knees Deep
    3. Silence Is Golden
    4. Your Side
    5. I Want To Listen
    6. Head In The Clouds
    7. Best Left
    8. Change In The Weather
    9. When You Know You Know
    10. A Passing Rain
    11. I Told You That I Was Afraid
    12. 2am

    Both a marketing firm and metaphysical mission, Valley of the Sun synthesized style and spirituality to produce an extensive catalog that at once defines and defies new age music. Founder Dick Sutphen worked with tireless devotion to spread a message he believed could change the world for the better. This 18-track overview of VOTS’ fertile 1977-1990 period includes music from Upper Astral, Robert Slap & Steve Powell, David Naegele, David Storrs, Steven Cooper, and Gloria Thomas, a 24- page booklet with extensive liner notes, J-card scans, and a hint of Sedona sand. Subliminal hypnosis likely.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    01 - Upper Astral - Upper Astral Suite
    02 - David Naegele - Temple In The Forest [Edit]
    03 - Slap & Powell - Sex Drive [Edit]
    04 - David Storrs - Channel For The Light (Part II) [Edit]
    05 - Steven Cooper - Key West Afternoon VI
    06 - Robert Slap - Boynton Canyon
    Side B
    01 - Upper Astral - Celestial Whispers II
    02 - Steven Cooper - Crystal Garden I
    03 - Robert Slap - UFO
    Side C
    01 - Robert Slap - Search For Utopia II
    02 - Gloria Thomas - I AM
    03 - Robert Slap - Sands Of Time
    04 - Celestial Odysseys - Daystar
    Side D
    01 - Steven Cooper - Key West Afternoon V
    02 - David Storrs - Aerobic Exercise Music (Driving Beat II)
    03 - Robert Martin - Great Peace (Guitar)
    04 - David Storrs - Sedona Sunrise
    05 - Robert Slap - East Of West VIII 

    Future Islands

    The Far Field

    Future Islands are Samuel T. Herring (vocals, lyrics), William Cashion (bass, guitars) and Gerrit Whelmers (keyboards, programming).

    Recorded in Los Angeles with GRAMMY award-winning producer John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound (where everyone from The Beach Boys to Prince have laid down masterpieces), The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road brilliantly express the central themes the band have been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it.

    The Far Field features string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn and is their first record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ on David Letterman’s late night TV show and has remained a fixture since. Blondie’s Debbie Harry also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate track ‘Shadows’.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Whilst I know the lead singer of Future Islands has enchanted people with his 'Grandad after 7 sherries' stage-swagger, it is the music here that is truly the star (thank goodness). Slightly gothic atmospheres, soaring synths and plenty of late-80's plate reverbs. Dark but driven indie for the eye-makeup crowd.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Aladdin
    2. Time On Her Side
    3. Ran
    4. Beauty Of The Road
    5. Cave
    6. Through The Roses
    7. North Star
    8. Ancient Water
    9. Candles
    10. Day Glow Fire
    11. Shadows
    12. Black Rose

    Bauhaus

    In The Flat Field

      Late 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus. To celebrate, Beggars Arkive is reissuing six records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl.

      Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "founding fathers of goth" tag that is always attached to them.

      Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They charted with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, they’ve been and namechecked by everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Sepultura, Janes Addiction, MGMT, Interpol, Bjork, Nirvana and more. They remain a huge cult concern, periodically reforming to wow their legions of dedicated followers.

      In The Flat Field is the band’s debut studio album, released by 4AD and considered to be one of the very first “goth” albums.

      This was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes.

      “this record’s influence on the impending goth scene cannot be underestimated or denied” – Drowned In Sound

      TRACK LISTING

      Double Dare
      In The Flat Field
      A God In An Alcove
      Dive
      The Spy In The Cab
      Small Talk Stinks
      St. Vitus Dance
      Stigmata Martyr
      Nerves

      Two years on since his last outing on the label, 'The Follower', Axel Willner puts on his Field suit again to present his sixth full-length effort for Kompakt, 'Infinite Moment' - which sees him striding further across the deeper, richer rims of the hue cycle.

      Substituting the uptempo vim of his previous pieces for a sense of mind-expanding horizontality, 'Infinite Moment' is an album filled with hope and draped in a diffuse, appeasing light; easing the pain and troubles of the human soul through a lushly forested recital of shoegazing modular, complex textural interplays and solar, atmospheric fractals. The matrix cut 'Made of steel, made of stone' gets the ball rolling on a thumping downtempo note, wrapping the listener up in hazy drones, fractured vocoder and rumbling bass tones. "Divide Now" is a proper sonic mitosis, engaging the metamorphosis to come; like a larvae pupating and reemerging weeks later from under rough bark in the form of a vividly coloured butterfly - fluttering breaks eventually shedding their skin then making way for a crucially more intimate and hypnotic second chapter. "Hear Your Voice" propels the lavish, pad-upholstered glamour of its melodic lines in the mixer for a bolder syncopated revisitation of '80s indebted pop harmonics, while 'Something left, something right, something wrong' returns to a flaring post-euphoric daze. Legs numb, mind confused and eyes lost into the greater whole, where nascent stars dance their way across the milky way to the rhythm of samba, and universal loving is no utopia.

      A more arrhythmic affair, 'Who Goes There' spins out into orbit wildly, fusing stealth acid bass moves with a haunting off-kilter motorik that bears The Field's seal of exclusivity, playing with the listener's mind intensely before the ten-minute-long epic 'Infinite Moment' ushers its listener in a highly immersive final ballet of buzzing chords, trampling drums and all-consuming drones. Syncing the self with its environment in ways never explored before, this album is a direct soul-to-soul transmission, aiming no further than at finding the right balance between contained emotion and an expressive eloquence. No fluff, no bluff - with 'Infinite Moment', The Field goes straight for the heart, stripping bare of all vain and futile attributes to focus on the very essential - He is hopeful, and so are we.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Sil says: It is The Field again! You know the drill; the formula has not changed: thumping beat, ethereal melodies, trance-like loops and a sense of possibility always present. This one is as good as all the others. In my books, that is a very good thing.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Made Of Steel. Made Of Stone
      A2. Divide Now
      B1. Hear Your Voice
      C1. Something Left, Something Right, Something Wrong
      D1. Who Goes There
      D2. Infinite Moment

      Billy Bragg & Joe Henry

      Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad

        In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired. Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers.

        The Field

        From Here We Go Sublime (RSD14 Vinyl Edition)

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          - THE FIELD's legendary debut album FROM HERE WE GO SUBLIME finally finds its way onto vinyl

          - Special edition for RECORD STORE DAY 2014, only available in participating stores

          - Pressed on 180g audiophile grade vinyl, including a CD version of the album

          -Originally rolled out in 2007, this much-acclaimed full-length debut of what was to
          become one of the most celebrated projects in Kompakt's artist fold saw a regular CD edition and an accompanying 12" sampler - but never a full vinyl release.

          -Enter RECORD STORE DAY 2014 and the perfect opportunity to finally present this stunning masterpiece the way it deserves.

          Axel Willner aka THE FIELD joined the Kompakt family in 2005, bringing forward a new fusion of ambient and techno that fed on his adoration for Wolfgang Voigt's classic 90's projects Gas and M:I:5 as well as the shoegazer rock of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.

          Called a "techno pop landmark" by Pitchfork, FROM HERE WE GO SUBLIME almost immediately became a cult favourite, starting a trend that continues to this day - as can be seen with THE FIELD's most recent full-length offering CUPID'S HEAD that has been lauded by critics and crowds alike.

          The most striking feat of FROM HERE WE GO SUBLIME must be its sonic cohesiveness, debuting a fully-formed artistic vision that - seven years and three albums later - hasn't lost any of its luster. As a fixture in THE FIELD's discography, it remains as important as ever, with Axel Willner installing a blueprint that inspired many but sounds like no one else... except himself. Giving you a feeling of warmth and familiarity on first listen that you can't quite grasp, it's like this sound has always existed, when in fact it was the unique creation from one highly gifted producer. And it
          all starts here.


          Piano Interrupted is the brainchild of London-based pianist and composer Tom Hodge and French electronic producer Franz Kirmann. Coming from two very different musical worlds (electronica, pop and techno for Franz; classical and minimalism for Tom), the two musicians had been friends for a long time before deciding to make music together. The Unified Field is Piano Interrupted's 2nd album. It was recorded in London in the first half of 2013 and features 10 brand new compositions. Kirmann and Hodge began the recording process on Tom's childhood piano, a Pleyel baby grand complete with its own peculiar characteristics and quirky charm. Recordings of Greg Hall's cello followed, as well as the new addition of Tim Fairhall on double bass. The title of the album comes from David Lynch's book Catching The Big Fish. In the context of his film-making, Lynch explains that if such a field exists then everything within it interconnects in one way or another, so that scenes and elements that may initially seem disconnected from each other emotionally or in terms of meaning, would in fact eventually make sense. This idea seemed particularly fitting in a musical context also, as it neatly captures Piano Interrupted's core music-making methodology; namely to draw upon multiple, varied styles and influences and bring them into one coherent unifying whole.

          The Unified Field exhibits many classic Piano Interrupted's traits and tropes, but whereas their debut album Two By Four was all about discovery, the new album is about the deepening musical relationship between Kirmann and Hodge through their continuous exchange of ideas. If Two by Four was an amalgamation album borne of three EPs, then The Unified Field is a much more focused and concise snapshot of Piano Interrupted's approach. The new album simultaneously refers back to the intense intricacy of early EPs whilst building on developments from Piano Interrupted's live explorations and improvisations as well as the extended recording techniques and filmic sound of the Papa Hedi EP. Dense arrangements of fragile piano, colourful cinematic soundscapes, organic rhythmic textures and rich, warm strings provoke a diverse range of emotions. The Unified Field is both a seductive, one-time listening experience and a record to return to again and again to reveal its intricate secrets and subtleties.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Emoticon
          2. Two Or Three Things
          3. Cross Hands
          4. Darkly Shining
          5. The Unified Field
          6. An Accidental Fugue
          7. Open Line
          8. Camera Obscura
          9. Path Of Most Resistance
          10. Lost Coda

          Hotel Mexico are a band from Kyoto in Japan. Their brand of washed out guitar jams on debut EP 'His Jewelled Letter Box caught the eyes and ears of various websites last year including the likes of Gorilla vs Bear and Noisey' . Now, Double Denim Records is hugely excited to present a single featuring two big new songs.

          The first of these to debut is 'A Space in the Loveless Field' an airy, yearning song that recalls the glow of Ariel Pink at his poppiest. Later on we'll reveal 'Wolves running through the Desert', a swaggering guitar-pop song that has flecks of 80s synth, and a hugely addictive guitar riff.

          TRACK LISTING

          A: A Space In The Loveless Field
          B: Wolves Running Through The Desert

          The Internal Tulips

          Mislead Into A Field By A Deformed Deer

          The Internal Tulips is a new project from two guys who have a history in American Bands such as Medicine and Savage Republic and who have separately released more abstract electronic music on Planet Mu in the past; they are Brad Laner who was Electric Company and Personal Electronics and Alex Graham who is Lexaunculpt, and they continue continue these experiments in pop. The project has a Beach Boys / Brian Wilson/Beatles influenced sound, but it manages to avoid being another exercise in retro comfort music because Brad and Alex use laptop trickery learnt form their more experimental pasts to bring their sound firmly into the present.
          Aside from making beautiful songs, sung in Brad's delicate multi-tracked falsetto, The Internal Tulips give their whole project a very modern, psychedelic production, treating their slow burning but gently arranged Americana to unusual treatments that blur the layers between acoustic and electronic sounds, cutting and editing vocals and instruments and adding depth and clarity to the arrangements, giving them an extra sense of the dreamlike. It's an album that feels immediately familiar; we're used to Grizzly Bear and the Fleet Foxes, bands you could superficially compare to Internal Tulips, but after a few listens the modern abstraction and production at the heart of the album will pull you in and take you somewhere else.


          The Field, aka Kompakt label boss Axel Willner, follows up his 2007 offering "Here We Go Sublime" with another killer long player of shoegazer-meets-techno. On "Yesterday & Today" Willner expands his palette, continuing the oblique sampling strategy of "From Here We Go Sublime" while building up the rhythmic architecture. He's joined by a band's worth of live musicians, including ex-Helmet and current Battles man John Stanier on drums, Dan Enqvist (guitar), Johan Grimlund (bass) and Ola Keijer (electric piano), who all work together to create the immense sound offered here. The result is a sublime mix of techno, building sonic layers and the kind of ambience previously used by Krautrock outfits like Tangerine Dream - lush blissed out and electrophoric.


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