Review: Three Fields – Wild Blue Yonder

Like those fleeting “ambient” interludes that come scattered amongst Boards of Canada tracks, or those tentative forays into ambient music by Brian Eno back in the 70s, Wild Blue Yonder feels torn between evoking an otherworldly mysteriousness and staying firmly harnessed to the more traditionally musical structures and textures. Synthesizer pads come in waves of choral grandeur, cycling one melody at a time so as to let the listener slip into its timeless return and gradual ascension. Yet there’s also a very stiff, quantised manner to the abrupt chord switches and one-dynamic plonks of piano that hinders the provocation of the album’s visuals; is this a deliberate hark back to those early utilisations of synthesizers in lifeless mimicry of classical instruments, or is Three Fields genuinely in an early stage of acquaintance with the electronic?

There’s a certain sense of endearment about the EP’s modestly brief sketches that feels suggestive of the former, as if its nostalgically retro depiction of outer space deliberately replicates electronic music’s early years of life. Yet there’s also a certain awkwardness about the music that feels possessive of a genuine naivety – several of these tracks have no endings to speak of, falling abruptly into silence as though Three Fields was unsure how to ease them into conclusion. Those aforementioned piano melodies are far too spiky to slot into the warm chords running beneath them, and jut out uncomfortably from the ambient waves. Where is Wild Blue Yonder trying to take you? Spiralling back through time or surging into the depths of space? The answer never makes itself explicitly known, and thus much of the EP feels lost in an awkward limbo between the two.