When Monstercat's mysterious artist known as Karma Fields “hacked” the label's podcast and released his/her/their first track early last year, I was immediately inspired. Build The Cities had included an abstract video and I recall writing what was probably the weirdest sonnet I have ever written.
March 2, 2016 — New Age | Dark Age, the debut album from Karma Fields, released.
Today — Karma Fields has released an “Integrated Video” for the entire album so since I never formally reviewed the album, I hope an unusual, but poetic review will do justice… Enjoy!
Play Edge of the World by Karma Fields.
I hear ambient white noise fade-in, followed by gospel-esque music as an electronic instrumental builds, featuring raw samples over an energetic and bouncy bassline.
I have departed from the dark and desolate world that is mainstream music and upon opening that door New Age | Dark Age had entailed, I did not find what had once existed.
The foundation that which the world was built by melody was no longer. I mentally witnessed the new foundations develop, and the soundscapes created another new world throughout.
Throughout the history of mankind, music has always changed, and will always continue to evolve. The primary influence for the change recently has been technology — technological advancements have led to these different evolutions in music.
Previously, music advanced with the development of new instruments, but with more and more music being produced entirely by the computer, artists like Karma Field, have been able to take unusual and unprecedented turns — in electronic music specifically.
And the debut album from Karma Fields is an ideal example. An album impossible to categorize by genre, New Age | Dark Age does not tell the typical story through music, but rather creates its soundscapes that form another world through music.
Play Skyline by Karma Fields.
A chill, electronic melody enters, which is soon joined by an inviting vocalist as mysterious as Karma Fields.
It appeared as though the beautiful skyline that once stood tall had been deconstructed. However, piece-by-piece, new skyscrapers descended from the sky to fill the footprints.
Unlike those that were previously built to reach right below the heavens, these new skyscrapers were slowly seen to tower through the clouds until I no longer could visibly see the height each structure might reach to complete the newly produced skyline.
From Stickup, with vocals by Juliette Lewis,
to Greatness featuring hip-hop recording artist and social activist Talib Kweli,
New Age | Dark Age is not afraid to go against the grain track after track. Karma Fields creates their own world from the first track’s foundation and the rest continues to build up.
Play Build the Cities featuring Kerli by Karma Fields.
As the melody slowly grows, Kerli’s mesmerizing vocals begin the entrancing electronic track that changed in style as if it were at the flick of a switch.
I walked through the city that I previously only saw from the skyline. The city’s skyscrapers continued to rise into the clouds, but from this perspective, I looked up to find an ominous, approaching atmosphere.
I walked further, however, one step too far and I dropped through the city cracks — yet to be constructed. It was sudden, like the track’s bass drop.
New Age | Dark Age left listeners, like myself, absolutely spellbound within the artist’s world and for that reason the album stands with few others —
such as ODESZA’s In Return and Porter Robinson’s Worlds
— as one of the best indie electronic albums in the past couple years.