Solar Fields - Leaving Home (Ultimae Records 2005) CD

DeathPosture

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Solar Fields – Leaving Home



Hi-res cover: front + back

Artist: Solar Fields (Sweden)
Title: Leaving Home
Format: CD (digipack w/16-page colour booklet)
Label: Ultimae Records (France)
Cat. #: INRE 017
Distribution: Ultimae.com/network
Date: Ultimo October 2005

Track listing:

01. 04’41†Home
02. 05’01†Time Slide
03. 08’23†Insum
04. 01’05†Star Fruit
05. 02’44†Magnetosphere (Star Fruit Part 2)
06. 04’08†Stereo Hypnosis (Magnetosphere Part 2)
07. 12’21†Air Song
08. 10’36†Cocoon Moon (Glastonbury Festival 2005 Mix)
09. 15’44†Monogram
10. 07’41†Times Are Good
11. 07’27†Leaving Home

.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/d6mq2 (all tracks!)

Review:

Sonic chromatographies and equal differences…

Magnus Birgersson from Gøteborg, Sweden is one of the living chill-legends... Yeah, pretty much everything he has released has been solid gold – the previous two SL albums + the H.U.V.A. Network album + all the amazing compilation tracks… This guy is the ambient armadillo! And who else than Solar Fields could pull off a stunt like releasing two full length albums simultaneously!? Yeah – this is the ‘regular’ album whereas Extended is more of a concept thing (review to follow shortly!)… As mentioned above, Solar Fields has yet to let me down, and I’ve been looking forward to this album for a long time… Released on my fav’e chill-label Ultimae, this *has* to be good… Let’s find out…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Home
Every journey starts at home… And so does this one… What we get here, is soothing, mellow ambient which slowly develops into laid-back downtempo… Running water, subtle sitar and digital jungle sounds… This is the tease track – before you know it, we’re right into the next track…

#02: Time Slide
Again we drift back into mellow oblivion… Free your mind and let your thoughts drift! If it wasn’t for the electro-pads, this would sound very similar to Sigur Rós… Epic, well-crafted ambient with a pompous glory to it… The traditional Indian string instrument veena is heavily used in this track, which creates a very emotional and melancholy feel… Sliding through time!

#03: Insum
And the vast, pompous soundscapes continues – and damn, what an intro to this track… Something resembling a power drill… More sitars… Digital acid-rips… Static electro-hisses… Oh yeah, you can cut the tension with a knife here… This is highly experimental ambient – soaked in surprising twists and turns… Solar Fields aphex’ed up… Very refreshing and innovative to say the least! Best track so far!

#04: Star Fruit
#05: Magnetosphere (Star Fruit Part 2)
#06: Stereo Hypnosis (Magnetosphere Part 2)
As these tracks are obviously connected, I’m gonna review them as a whole… We start with a short skit, which is as much a transition as it is an intro… Heavily cut dubby beats of industrial proportions… Kinda scary really! Soon enough we’re back to floating, oriental, filtered ambient – with a strong emphasis on majestic chords on some kinda warped piano/synth… The last part of the trilogy of tracks sees the focus shift more towards an old-fashioned rhythm section… The percussions are shredded, mutilated – only to be patched back together into a mutant of joyrex’xy dimensions… Again SL is pushing the experiments to new, uncharted lands… Very refreshing in all its gory glory, though maybe a tad too inaccessible for the untrained ear… I like it though!

#07: Air Song
The experimentation continues, and once again the borders of Ultimae chill are widened… This is another introvert track, which a thick emphasis on heavily cut beats and breakz – giving the track an outerworldly Ant Zen spin… Technoid noises for chilled people! Yeah, the first part of this track reminds me of the sound of Funkstörung or the likes… Halfway through we shift back to more extrovert ambient with deep, dubby beats and murky, melancholy pads in the background. The final run ties up things nicely, with its roomy, panoramic qualities… A very complex, wholehearted track… And if you were to pick one track, to represent the album, this would be it… As massive as it is mature!

#08: Cocoon Moon (Glastonbury Festival 2005 Mix)
We drift seamlessly into the track which I’m guessing was performed at the 2005 Glastonbury Festival (well, d’uh!)… We start in ambient territory, but soon we cross over into laidback, downbeat land… Like a weird, unfamiliar electro bastard child this track is very hard to place anywhere… It’s repetitive and minimal, yet also evolving and eclectic… As trancy as it gets with Solar Fields – but still kept within a downtempo framework… A true electronica hybrid from start to finish… And maybe even less easily accessible than some of the previous tracks here! Interesting, but it will take me a long time to fully appreciate this I reckon…

#09: Monogram
This is much more to my liking though… This is another gargantuan mofo of a chill track… Ranging from virtual beatless ambient, over ethno-chill to up-tempo electronica… Everything spread across fifteen minutes and forty four seconds… Complete with mysterious jungle-sounds and the works… A solid SL track!

#10: Times Are Good
Times are good indeed – and it’s time to leave this earth and explore inner as well as outer space! This is undisputed, unparalleled chill-out… Gone are the grimmest explorations into IDM, and we’re left with soothing, transcending ambient soaked in subtle twirls, frills, thrills, spills and… Guitars! Amazing track!

#11: Leaving Home
So, we never really left home, eh? Clever! Well, this is another perpetual Solar Fields ambient tune… Beautiful, floating beatless melodic pads which eventually are accompanied by a subtle rhythm section… Yeah – this CD wouldn’t be complete without one of these ‘trademark SL’ tracks which we’ve all come to love so much over the years… A solid tune and the best damn possible way to end this unique album…

Unique is the keyword here – this album is totally unique… The level of experimentation is unparalleled and style wise, this crosses back and forth between more genres than I care to count… But it’s still unmistakable Solar Fields down to the very last second… You wanna know what it really is? … It’s talent! The vast composing talents of Mr. Magnus Birgersson – the ambient armadillo! This is by far his most mature album – it’s definitely not as easily accessible as some of his previous instalments, but what is lacks in ‘easy listening’ it makes up for in fertility… This album is ripe of the bone, and will serve the listeners for light years to come… Give the extrovert parts some time to grow on you, and I’m sure they’ll come around… Most of them have for me!

As always with Ultimae, everything is top-drawer material here. From the beautiful artwork, down to the very last well-mastered second of audio-bliss… A safe buy for any fan of experimental ambient seasoned with nonconformist musical warps, twists and turns… Audio anarchy! Now stop reading, and go order this album… It’s amazing! … Enjoy!

Favourites: 2, 3(!!), 7(!), 9, 10(!!), 11(!)

DeathPosture


External links:
Solar Fields: http://www.solarfields.com
Ultimae Records: http://www.ultimae.com
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/532089
Ultima E-shop: http://tinyurl.com/7d6te
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/9csc8
Amboworld: http://tinyurl.com/7rqav
ShopSonic: http://tinyurl.com/br39j
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/8v8uo
Ajuca: http://tinyurl.com/bneun
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/c8mo3
 

damion

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what in tintern abbey are you talking about?
i'm off the f**ing Ultimae promo list as well now?!?!?!?!

WTF?!?!?!?!

sorry martin -- great stuff as always. definitely rate solar fields and will be sure to check this out

you're putting me more and more to shame every week :Wink3:
 

Faction

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damion said:
i'm off the f**ing Ultimae promo list as well now?!?!?!?!

WTF?!?!?!?!

sorry martin -- great stuff as always. definitely rate solar fields and will be sure to check this out

you're putting me more and more to shame every week :Wink3:
I told ya you should have shaved before agreeing to that webcam 'conversation' Damo.
 

josh

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serves you right for being a member of mycel :Wink3:

we've all seen the teeshs/underground promotion..
 

Ozric

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It's ordered!
 

Barclay (Dark Angel)

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I'm a massive fan of just about any and everything Magnus Birgersson's done. I've been speaking to him about these albums for a while now, having met him at the ID Spiral spaces at Glasters and The Glade this year, and I'm massively excited about them.

For those who don't know, he was getting standing ovations ***between*** tracks at The Glade. I can't remember the last time I saw that happen. The guy isn't just good, he's astonishingly good. If you were lucky enough to catch his sets, some of the tracks he performed then are on these albums.

It's a no brainer. Just buy them...

Hugs,

Barclay
 

digifrog

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:wub: Magnus (Solar Fields) Do not forget peeps that this album is part of a double release from Ultimae. Part 2 'Extended' is also due for imminent release.
 

Scoff Cruddle

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Absolutely top loverly album this. Just melt listening to this falling asleep of an evening.

And as Barclay said, I caught his set at Glade and it was absolutely top notch.

Only thing I'd disagree with DeathPosture's great review is that I immediately fell for track 8! But it is all good.
 

nova (ultimae records)

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