“Fields is something different. Something less dark. Less fractured. It’s something warmer and perhaps more calm.”
Released: March 2020
Mastered By: Andreas Görts
Artwork By: Liam Frankland
See Also: In the studio with Dag Rosenqvist
If You Like: Rafael Anton Irisarri, Matthew Collings, and From The Mouth of The Sun
One thing that I find to be extremely helpful in times like these is to stay focused on your defined schedule. Whatever you’ve been doing before, you must continue to do now. And then you take that moment of “ok” and stretch it out from a minute, to an hour, to a day, and finally into eternity. During such times I do what I do at other times – wake up, make up some coffee, and listen to this music. I find that maintaining a sense of normalcy is one of the key factors in keeping your mind away from all of this anxiety and angst. And so today, just like any other day, I play another record. For this morning, I choose an album by Dag Rosenqvist, which I have already played through multiple times before. Except, right now, I listen with a closer ear, and watch the cones of desktop speakers bounce with the beat, as the sub-bass vibrates and possibly wakes up the neighbors.
Rosenqvist has been a favorite for years. From his work as Jasper TX to a collaboration with Aaron Martin on a fantastic project they call From The Mouth Of The Sun to his work under his real name, Vowels (Awkward Formats, 2015), elephant (Dronarivm, 2016), and Hello Darkness (Denovali, 2017), which he released with Matthew Collings. Martin and Rosenqvist have also worked on a film score, and composed a soundtrack for Menashe. In this new solo and self-released album, titled Fields, Rosenqvist explores something different. “Something less dark. Less fractured. It’s something warmer and perhaps more calm.” But past the ambient and saturated swells of pads and fuzzed-out bass guitar, there is still the same ‘ol Rosenqvist with his immaculate attention to resonant textures that manage to take up an entire spectrum of the sound, and the familiar approach to tracks the just evoke emotion.
Musically, Fields comes from my love of direct melodies and of simple chord structures. It also comes from my complete inability to program or sequence anything when it comes to music gear, leaving me to build it all stone by stone, block by block (to quote one of my all-time favorites).
There are a few surprises on the album, like the straight-up kick-drum beat, which is suddenly cut with a familiar soothing voice. And… wait a second, is that Tom singing in the background for “Gold”? Why, yes it is. It’s the first time that we hear an actual song structure on a Dag Rosenqvist album, courtesy of the talented Benoît Pioulard. Dag says that the recording of this album spans the last five years, but listening to the six pieces that make up its core I can attest that it’s a cohesive piece of work, that works as one from start to finish. It is a lovely journey during stressful times like these, and I sincerely hope that you will take it. Fields is available as a digital release directly from Bandcamp (see links above) or as a limited edition of only 40 cassettes, which will sound great in your exotic lo-fi setup.