Interview The Field: Heavy Loop Thinker

We catch up with Axel Willner, who has just released his third, quite remarkable album ‘Looping State Of Mind’.

Axel Willner has just released his third, quite remarkable album, ‘Looping State Of Mind’. Each of The Field’s records have been seminal lessons in how to deliver a staggering body of electronic music, but where ‘From Here We Go Sublime’ may have struck gold in immediacy and addictiveness, ‘Looping State…’ wins over a new flock of fans with its unrivalled application of hypnotic repetition and its beautiful blend of the abrasive and the affectionate.

DIY caught up with Willner to speak about the most pressing of topics: After taking two years off, how did he go about making something so refined and refreshing, with barely a flaw to be found?

Did you always set out to start the album with something as abrasive and attention-grabbing as ‘Is This Power’?
That was nothing that I planned really but in the end, it was best suited to have it in the beginning. It was also the first sketch that I did for The Field in two years.

What was the writing process like for the album? Did you make it all in an intense couple of months of were all the songs little projects that you’d come back to every so often?
It was made all in a sweep more or less. I made sketches in my studio in Berlin and then me, Dan Enqvist and Jesper Skarin got together in Köln to record all the live instrumentation. so it was a mix of both natural jams and ideas and ideas being fitted together.

Has anything changed in your style of writing and recording in between ‘Yesterday and Today’ and this latest album?
For this one I was counting on the next level which was the studio time with the band so I kept the sketches pretty naked.

Adding Jesper Skarin as a drummer - did that alter your approach and if so, how?
With Jesper on the drums the live set has taken a new dimension. It’s more driven and structured. As was the recording of the album.

‘Then It’s White’ stands out for me, mainly because of its obvious beauty and use of piano… Can you tell me more about how you came to make that song specifically?
It was one of the late night jams without a sketch or anything. Just plain fun in the studio, along with a bit of post production…

What made you so interested in the idea of people’s thoughts looping around in their heads? Is it simply because your music is based around loops or is there more to it than that?
It’s the combination of my way of making loops. I´m also a heavy loop thinker. As I was in that state of mind when making the album I found it suiting to call it that.

How much does critical acclaim matter to you? ‘Looping State of Mind’ seems to getting nothing but positive reviews…
Of course, it’s flattering but at the same time I try to stay away from reading too much. But yes, it gets to you in both ways.

The Field’s new album ‘Looping State Of Mind’ is out now via Kompakt.

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