Boomkat Product Review:
Axel Willner (The Field) debuts a beautifully soporific new sound as HANDS with 'The Soul Is Quick' for Walls' Ecstatic label.
Its four extended pieces feature Willner trying out a more delicate, dreamy sound than The Field, practically abandoning his signature bass rhythms in favour of subtle rhythmic vapour trails while all the action happens in the droning loops of Gas-like chords and sampled movie dialogue in the higher registers.
The whole thing was apparently made over the course of a month at the producer's Garmonbozia Studios in Berlin, using a Roland JX-3P, Roland SH-101, a Tenori-On, and a Machinedrum, and takes inspiration from the Beelitz-Heilstätten sanatorium of 19th century Berlin, in name at least. The material is supremely heady, gradually becoming more expansive with a plaintive serenity which seems at odds with Willner's own admission that he found himself "…taking inspiration from human decay rather than brighter things", but I guess serenity is only shades away from melancholy...