Sublime Frequencies

The Field turns Lionel Richie and the Mac into thundering, florid ambient triumph

You gotta think the lovebirds still get a chill, though, when all the lights go out and "A Paw in My Face" emerges—Lionel Richie time, those bent guitar notes far more frail and intricate than anything else Axel's served up. He gets his nuance and intimacy when he really needs it. The crowd—not rapt but politely attentive, bobbing in place and soaking in what it can—whoops with recognition, and when the track runs aground and the naked guitar solo itself is unmasked, Axel lets it run a little while longer than on record, granting Lionel himself one word: "Hello." For Axel, it means good-bye—another DJ jump-starts his own whumping beat even as the final note hangs there, and the Field himself jumps off the stage and out of sight in one fluid motion, as though the place is on fire. He did his part, his Stella now drunk, his homages made, his napalm deployed, his jokes cracked, his mines swept.

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