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Cupid’s Head

The Field
KOMPAKT

Anyone familiar with the work of Swedish minimal techno producer Axel Willner, aka The Field, could tell you: The man has a formula, but damn, does it work. And though Cupid’s Head, his fourth on Kompakt, isn’t a significant deviation from previous efforts, the subtle differences are powerful. All the same elements remain in place — trance-inducing drum patterns deftly layered with looped vocals, guitars and synths that provide gentle and unobtrusive melodies — but where previous work felt delicately captivating, Cupid’s Head is moody, dense and brooding. Album highlight “No. No …” is exemplary, featuring a collection of anxious-sounding vocal loops stacked over stammering percussion patterns — it’s truly beautiful and captivating, but not without sounding unsettled and tense. It might be a little tough to get inside Cupid’s Head, but the payoff is certainly worth it.