A swirling intoxicating techno bliss-out of shimmering delight
In April, Billie Lindahl (Promise And The Monster) released EP Chewing Gum on new home label ICEA. The EP marked a transition for Billie from delicate, woodland folk songs to ethereal and occult electronic dark wave. Now following it’s release, the Swedish songstress returns to resurrect the EP’s first single Closed My Eyes, reimagined by prolific electronic producer Axel Willner (The Field).
Axel Willner’s background in punk and avantgarde electronics came to full bloom with his widely acclaimed The Field project, combining affinities for classic pop (Lionel Richie, Kate Bush), shoegaze bands (Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine) and 90s experimental ambient. Signed to Kompakt in 2004, this moniker constructs ambient techno based on a stoic motorik and a perpetually rotating hook. Throughout his career, his Elysian techno has received support from music’s highest accolades including Pitchfork, FACT Magazine, Resident Advisor and NME.
Clocking in at an impressive twelve and a half minutes, the remix has a stature of cosmic proportions with distorted vocals meandering around a pummelling 808 beat and celestial resonance vibrating throughout the track’s entirety.
“I asked Axel in the midst of the pandemic to do a remix from the Chewing Gum ep and luckily for me he was up to it. He picked Closed my Eyes, and I listened to it a couple of weeks later, walking over the Västerbron bridge in Stockholm when the jasmine was blooming, and felt like I could just be in it forever. I really like the dry vocals and down pitched choir in the end and he just transformed the original song into something weird, fluid and playful that’s amazing.”
Willner’s ability to manipulate sounds is his trademark, with much of how Pitchfork described his 2018 album Infinite Moment applicable to his adaptation of Lindahl’s dark pop gem:
“Two chords oscillate; a humid bass tone rumbles a human voice, or maybe a synthesizer trained to sound like one. The voice is a scream trapped in amber, agitated but distant, a reaction far removed from its spark. Though voices dart in and out of much of the ambient techno Willner makes, this one is different from his usual samples, which tend to hold more structure—a discernible consonant, a fossil of breath. This voice sounds human and not human, fevered and at peace, calling for something just out of reach.”
PROMISE AND THE MONSTER