From the moment that "The More That I Do" starts chugging into your speakers, you can't help but think that it sounds exactly like "Love vs. Distance," Axel Wilner's debut single from four years ago. Is this a problem? Depends on what you expect when an artist resurfaces after a phenomenal success. Whether it's Jackson Pollock, Raymond Chandler or Kraftwerk, every artist with a signature style faces a tough choice: Do you give the people what they want, or try something new? In this case, thankfully Wilner chooses the former route and "The More That I Do" faithfully follows his playbook of churning drums and white noise fueled by the tension of tightly clipped loops punctuated by the occasional guitar lick or extra bar of melody. The Field never gives you much breathing room: his tracks are awash in layers of white noise and frosted with ethereal vocals, in this case borrowing from the Cocteau Twins' "Lorelei."
Thomas Fehlmann's "Frantic Flow" remix isn't frantic at all. With a couple of knocking drums, Fehlmann clears away the claustrophobia of the original, shaping it into something brighter, more optimistic, and much closer to the slow gallop of his own productions. Once the vocals start spinning at the halfway mark, however, the track becomes very much a Field record. Same thing with the Foals "XIII Remix": Despite reorganizing the track into proper movements of stripped-down breaks and a full-tilt chorus, those gauzy vocals and fizzy loops keep the track firmly fenced within Wilner's sun-drenched landscape.
Play these three tracks in a row and they work like one epic song. Neither Fehlmann nor the Foals transform the original into something new—they just recolor it a little bit, which speaks to the persistence of Wilner's fingerprints. As "The More That I Do" grinds along, I keep thinking of a Pollock painting: the unmistakable style that's a little overheated, those swirling and tangled threads with colors burning at the edges—and I'm happy that he made so many versions in slightly different sizes and colors.
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Tracklist: The Field - The More That I Do A The More That I Do
B1 The More That I Do (Foals XIII Remix) (6:51)
B2 The More That I Do (Thomas Fehlmann Frantic Flow Remix)