Initially there’s something joyously perky about Dan Abrams’ album Field that the opening spoken-word sample about death doesn’t manage to diminish. Revelling in late 90’s digital sound processing, bleeping and lightweight glitches as though spearheading a revival of an era overshadowed by the amount of 80’s sound revival we’re currently seeing, it channels the old attitudes of Luke Vibert and Richard D James but takes advantage of some more modern and soft-edged production touches to create something very listenable.
But after the playfulness of tracks like “Caudex” there’s also a quality and depth on show that reveals itself as we get a few tracks in. The symphonic multi-stage moodiness of “Edule”, with its softly rolling pads, is particularly rich- “Sea”, following the same formula but with an added note of tension added by repetitive high-pitched notes, is also strong. On “Blue”, the soundscaping veers a little towards over-recognised synth tones but without totally breaking the illusion.
It’s a very well-realised 11-track, 38-minute album with a clearly defined identity. Even at that relatively short running time it perhaps runs out of new ideas before the end, but it’s certainly smooth and accomplished.