Adam Fielding has quietly amassed himself a cult and devoted following for his unique blend of guitars, pianos and electronica. It’s like he has invented a post-electronica genre that’s perfect for epic film montages and electronica anthems. Pieces, a pay what you want album of previously unreleased work, continues to strengthen and evolve his work.
The rousing and explosive “A Call To Action” booms onto your speakers after quietly building up power chords. It’s guitar and vocal effects drench over pounding drums and the gentlest xylophone to create a track that literally shakes you alive. It’s sublime and a great opening track that sets you up for what’s to come. “Everything Is Wide Open” focuses on hypnotic guitar riffs and percussive tuned instruments that unravel and stumble over the main theme and melodies. The electronic beats are sharp and switch tempo and drive at the drop of a hat. Upon each iteration of the theme something is added, another thing is changed and the track becomes that little bit more epic. The power and vastness of the soundscape is always something that draws me into Adam Fielding’s work and this is no exception. “What Of Our Hopes” introduces glitches and really trippy fuzzy bells into the equation, along with an interesting time signature to keep you on your toes. The layers of synth work on this track is like diving into a sky of clouds, you can hear them all merging into each other and it over get’s more heavenly when the tone shifts from aural to more trance like in the second half. “Final Approach” is a slow burner that concentrates on its bass lines and its pulsates rhythms to enthrall you before it’s guitars really take over. The electro acoustic swirls keep the melody going whilst the wails of the electric guitar that have been given the Fielding treatment sound like the final song at a rock concert.
“While Stars Still Burn” opens with a peaceful and tranquil guitar harmonics melody that sounds like it’s been merged with a whirlitzer. It’s a lovely sound and I could listen to it for hours. This track however is one of the shorter on the album as it builds with singular kick drums that echo out and acoustic guitars slowly dissolving into electric guitars. Adam’s voice adds a certain sadness to the track as is bursts into a reverberating silence. Beautiful. “And All Is Embers” initially continues the quieter mood with some lovely piano work but that fades out as the drums kick in for this chill out track with a groovy edge to it. “Sleepless” is a beautiful track that is based on a synth sound that’s like phased static. It reminds me of when you’ve tuned out but you’re not quite asleep and this track captures that mood and sound perfectly. “An Uncertain Future” returns to the more electronic trip hop instrumental side of Adam’s music with some great sine synths and guitar solo interplay.
“Will I See You Again” is a lovely piece of solace on the album. Acoustic guitar and aural synth driven, there’s no drums, it’s just guitar and keyboard creating a moment in time complete with some interesting vocal samples too that give an otherwise warm track a slightly eerie side. “Sunset Radar” is a kooky track that prides itself on a lot of minor keys and interesting chord changes. It reminds me of a dungeon level in a game. “The Final Run” then feels like a game final level as you approach the last boss. There’s an element of foreboding in the chords and melody. “What Is All Said And Done” is a fantastic finale that starts off as an ambient drone and grows and develops into an ethereal trance track. It showcases Adam’s ability to constantly change and alter a track subtly but interestingly.
If you buy the album for more than a pound you also get four ambient versions of the tracks. This follows the pattern of the “And All Is As It Should Be” album where the synth pads are gently caressing your ears and you get the beautiful renditions of the tracks. Some are more dramatic than others but all four are great additions.
Adam Fielding’s “Pieces” is a triumph. To think these tracks are unreleased shows the calibre of hidden gems that are available. Piece’s will definitely figure somewhere on my albums of the year list, just as Lightfields did a few years back. Fielding – at his best.