The Field gets lost in the Trees at The Indy

The-FieldPhotos by James Nagel

The Field‘s ‘A/V’ performance at The Independent Thursday night was a bit of a joke – audience expectations were not even close to being met and producer Axel Willner was the only person in on the laugh. Known for his driving, dreamy micro-house production, Axel Willner performed one grand, meandering soundscape for about 45 minutes before calling it a night. The set inspired little to no dancing from the crowd – and attendees seemed ready to let loose. Not a single cut was performed or recreated from his three records – a fact that had the Thursday night crowd scratching their collective heads. When an artist is able to fill a room based on his production catalogue, then does something completely different than expected, it will be perceived either as a risky success or a huge middle finger. The show fell short of expectations and creating something special, a double whammy of disappointment any way you look at it.

About half an hour into the performance, it began to feel like an Andy Kaufman-esque expiriment. People were already trickling out of the venue, and not a semblance of percussion nor a minimalist beat had been incorporated into the droning, atmospheric mental masturbation The Field was generating. Willner looked like he was in a patient daze, more interested in drinking his red wine than giving the crowd what they wanted – something to move to. The first half of the performance proved to be all wandering build-up toward a more thundering and throbbing final 20 minutes. The dreamscape gave way to a loud, repetitious trance that felt like early Animal Collective with muted vocal sampling. Then the set was put to bed slowly while ears were still ringing.


Billed as a “completely immersive audio/visual sensory experience”, the show only utilized flat, projected imagery of trees in a forrest. Produced by artist Sonia Alvarez, the video mirrored the music of the night by projecting one long take of a person walking through a forrest with a camera at a high angle. Combined with Willner’s sound, the visuals did give you a feeling of being lost, but not exact immersed. House lights were not used, and the headliner continuously appeared and retreated behind the contrasting visual of trees and sky. To be fully immersive, the set needed more visual support and additional tempo changes.


The Field, on the other hand, probably could care less. Willner set out to produce a new concert performance, and based on expectations he basically fell flat on his ass. He has huge balls to hold the audience captive from get go, and it’s remarkable that he never broke into the churning micro-house rhythms he’s know for. The Field should be given some credit for challenging the conventional concept of sound in a live performance, but The Field is just lost in the trees.

WIN FREE TICKETS to The Field at The Independent 6/6

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Who’s ready to lose themselves in music Thursday night? Berlin-based DJ & electronic music producer The Field will be filling The Independent in San Francisco with his sultry, driving micro-house beats to help get the weekend started early. For those unfamiliar with the concept of ‘micro-house’ or ‘minimalist techno’, think ‘anti-drop’ dance music. The Field, aka Axel Willner, patiently builds dreamy soundscapes by micro-sampling shoe-gaze influenced pop music, and the end-result adds up to atmospheric, euphoric electronic music at its best. Willner is also an established remixer, producing official re-cut tracks for Battles, Thom Yorke, Delorean, DeVotchKa & Tame Impala to name a few.

And to top it all off, Willner promises a completely immersive sensory experience by including visuals created by photographer and artist Sonia Alvarez. Nikola Baytala is the featured act Thursday, and you can purchase tickets here. Doors open at 8:30pm, Show starts at 9pm.

Win 2 Free Tickets! Enter to win if you can attend this show Thursday June 6th at The Independent in San Francisco.

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Contest ends Thursday June 6th at Noon. The winners will be picked at random & notified by email. Your email will be kept private – we will share your email with no one.


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FYF Fest 2012: 10 not to miss

Written by Mike Frash //

FYF Fest //
LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
September 1st-2nd, 2012 //

Nestled between downtown Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium at LA State Historic Park, FYF Fest opens its gates Saturday with a blend of punk, indie, garage, micro house, comedy, future pop and and reunions that should satisfy music fans. Fuck yeah!

FIVE FOR SATURDAY: One word: stacked. Get crazy with Fucked up, Sleigh Bells and The Men, mellow out with Chairlift and Tycho and don’t sleep on Chromatics, Future Islands or Tanlines. Bottom line: Saturday is conflict-laden. Here are five I’m focusing on:

Simian Mobile Disco

Get your dance on and the rage out.


You never know … I could go to M83.

Purity Ring

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (I’ve heard they’re great live, too.)

Cloud Nothings

They put out a great album from earlier this year.

King Tuff

Alone and stoned. Oh the irony at a festival …


Really it’s the most gut-wrenching conflict Saturday. Purity Ring vs. James Blake. Maybe a split set will do?

FIVE FOR SUNDAY: Sunday offers another day of great variety. The power of Ceremony vs. the crooning of Father John Misty. Tiger & Woods’ 70’s disco grooves vs. Aesop Rock’s flow. The Eastern brass of Beirut vs. Gold Panda’s hypnotic beats.


New set design and at least three good songs from their new album.

Nicolas Jaar

All sources indicate this set can be classified as “must-see live.”


No. 1 against the rush. Gotta love Day 2 at a festival.

Atlas Sound

Bradford Cox destroys as the frontman of Deerhunter and is an epic looper. Anything can happen.

Wild Nothing

They released a new album this week. It’s pretty fucking good. I found this video that’s not official, and I think it works perfectly with the music.


More micro-house! Dance while you can, but I must see Bradford Cox’s solo project.

Conflict Double Bonus: Father John Misty

Honestly, I could see Ceremony, Father John Misty or Givers. They are all great bands — and all great live bands. I’m thinking of deferring to a mellow Sunday morning, but we’ll see.