I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy of ‘Yesterday and Today’ by The Field in an Oxfam shop of all places today. Given that the selection of CDs in charity shops usually consists of records by boybands like Another Level and other examples of the very worst of 90’s pop music that everybody wants to forget about, minimal techno music is an extremely rare find.
‘Yesterday and Today’ may only comprise six tracks but it still stretches to just over an hour of aesthetically rich layering and looping with barely a moment wasted. As is true of all the best electronic music (and all its sub-genres), listening to ‘Yesterday and Today’ is pure escapism. Album opener, ‘I Have the Moon, You Have the Internet’, builds slowly but ends satisfyingly. John Stanier’s guest appearance on the title track is a highlight with his math rock drumming in perfect collaboration with Axel Willner’s complex sound textures. Only the cover of the Korgis’ ‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’ seems out of place. It’s not badbut it sounds like The Field couldn’t decide whether to do a straight-up cover or a proper remix of the song which is a little frustrating.
Futuristic, hypnotic, eclectic and melodic, ‘Yesterday and Today’ is a stunning record which is both absorbing and more accessible than the words ‘minimal techno’ might have you think. It’s repetitive, yes, but in a good way. And given that I find a good CD in a charity shop about once every three years, I think I’ll have to investigate The Field’s other albums a little sooner than that.