User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 379 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 98 out of 379

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  1. Mar 24, 2014
    Axel Willner, under the guise of 'The Field" created on his first release something of a minor masterpiece of electronic music. His ideas here are not only fully developed, but also immaculately conceived; the inspiration to take fraction cuts of music and loop them repeatedly for several minutes on end is, simply put, genius. This approach gives the listener a feeling of primal intimacy. Having been subject to a sound on repeat for what feels like an eternity, we gradually begin to feel as if we've known this song deeply and personally for a long time. For an album defined as electronic music to achieve such a profoundly human feel is, frankly, quite rare. Not only has Willner carved an amazingly original niche into his moniker, his music is, regardless of gimmick, a great listen. From the opening track, 'Over the Ice', we are instantly transported somewhere else - a world of indescribable synthetic sounds based in human vocal samples that feels ethereal and anthemic at the same time. 'Over the Ice' perfectly captures the major theme that Willner explores on 'Sublime', the contrast of tension and release, simplicity and complexity. The second track, "A Paw in My Face' tests the listeners ears further, with an incredibly simple, almost elementary loop of electric guitar (later revealed to be a cut from Lionel Richie's 'Hello'), that builds for five minutes to almost unbearably tense effect. From this song onward, we begin to see Willner's hand as more compositional and restrained. Other tracks, such as 'Silent', 'Everday', and the 10-minute centerpiece of the album, 'The Deal', follow this pattern, beginning at an almost comic level of simplicity, only to evolve into a monolithic, densely layered trance. In slowly giving us a little more to grab onto with each loop, these songs become incredibly engaging from multiple standpoints. For one, Willner's music is exceptionally rhythmically subversive, often testing our patience by holding onto a loop just a little longer than we may be comfortable with. He betrays our expectations, creating tension. Another trick that Willner employs lies in the density of the sounds that he samples. They are so mythic and opaque that our brains naturally try to identify an understanding of what it is we are hearing. For instance, on track "The Little Heart Beats So Fast", what exactly is being said so faintly in the background? Diphthong? Dance On? End Solo? When you begin to think on it, each sounds plausible. Lingering on a specific song on the album in order to decipher in exactitude what is being heard, however, can be a near impossible task. Our brains can be deceptive in their understanding of what we hear. In an interview, Willner stated that many of the sounds perceived on 'Sublime' are actually hollow. Our ears naturally attempt to fill in the gaps of music that we presume are there. This makes every faint noise heard (or not heard) deeply mineable, which is a good thing because the listener certainly gets a chance to dive in and examine the soundscape of 'From Here We Go Sublime'. Each track, regardless of how simplistic it is at first glance, is endlessly cavernous. Tracks "Sun & Ice" and "Good Things End", though blatantly repetitive, have a quality of vastness, of grandiosity hidden beneath such sparse sounds. Admirably, The Field has built on a strong following among electronic music enthusiasts because of his respect of the intentional listener. He assumes that his audience is not the kind to feed on instant musical gratification so commonly found in modern popular music, which appears rigid and impersonally structured by comparison. Since its release in 2007, 'From Here We Go Sublime" has left an incredible staple on electronic minimalism. Other such albums unveiled around that time, such as Panda Bear's 'Person Pitch' and Burial's 'Untrue' inhabit a similar musical vein, both making a great application of sampling and repetition. However, the argument could be made that though both of these artists smother The Field in terms of popularity and relevance, and basically rival in critical acclaim, none is more humble and graceful than Willner when it comes to simply crafting music. To anyone with an interest in electronic minimalism, 'From Here We Go Sublime' becomes necessity. For any interested in good music in general, the album resembles a genre at its most accessible and accentuated. To write off The Field as 'dull' or 'an acquired taste' is to accuse a great wine of not intoxicating upon initial consumption. To call his songs mere 'remixes' would be to undervalue the sheer distinction of The Field's style. This is a distillation of music style that is admittedly slow burning, but also endlessly rewarding, like a classic film or novel. 'From Here We Go Sublime' is a work of whose value would be a shame to see fade over time. Expand
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    This is a rare case (in fact it might be the first time I've said this about anything) where I have to say if you don't love this masterpiece you just don't get it.
  3. Oct 9, 2012
    It really doesn't get better than this, expect to return to this album for years to come; I have. Seen this guy loads of times, it all stands up live. The Field has put out some good music since this but I'll never expect him to top this. Listen is you like tight controlled music, of any genre. Don't listen if you want immediate returns.
  4. Sep 25, 2012
    This album is great. It's revolutionary in that it's minimal trance. The genre was bound to be pioneered, eventually; and that's why I didn't give it a ten. Also, not every song on this album is on equal footing. Besides that, it's the elements that make up each song that makes this album special. In addition, the sounds of this album are very diverse; from acid sounding, to quite digital. Very understated, though. Quite beautiful album. I have to just say to people that are arguing over the critics rating that if my primary love within electronic music were ambient or minimal techno, or even trance, than I would have given this a ten, as well. You guys have to realize that falling head over heels for this album depends on your primary interest in the electronic realm. If you hate electronic, you're gonna give this album a 0. If you love ambient and minimal techno, you're gonna try to give this album a 15. You also have to understand that the quietness may not help with leaving an impression (much less a positive impression) in your mind. All these things have to be kept in view. Expand
  5. Apr 16, 2011
    Great ambient electronica. Synthetic, cold, mechanized. Completely hypnotic. BE CAREFUL driving and listening to this. You might just end-up in the guard rail.
  6. Dec 25, 2010
    It's the simplicity of sounds that erupt a complex reaction, in guidance with the ambient repitition, loose beats and magnificent electronic application, it is undoubtedly the cornerpoint of sample-musician history.
  7. Aug 20, 2010
    As others have mentioned, this is a hugely over-rated album. Only mainstream music critics seem to think that this guy is such a huge talent. There's a reason why his tunes aren't spun much by the major progressive DJs: his house music ain't that great. It's house music (or "techno," as most of the people who listen to this no doubt call it) for the Starbucks set.

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. If you like minimal electronic music at all, you must seek it out.
  2. This is one of those rare albums that makes you wonder how you ever got by without it.
  3. This is an album you could easily hate -- especially if you like things like change and development.