In a statement regarding his sixth album as The Field, Axel Willner likened it to a respite from a world losing hope and “a moment that feels good and you don't want to end.” It’s a curious description to consider, even for longtime denizens of Willner’s landscape, where each album is distinct yet interconnected enough that they could all be worked into a multi-hour DJ mix that would turn a dancefloor into sacred ground wherein epiphanies are manifested as surely as Willner’s loops. In short, “a moment that feels good and you don’t want to end.”

The pleasures of Infinite Moment, like the rest of Willner’s discography, come from its multidimensionality. As Willner alluded to, it’s an hour of refuge that refuses to become background noise. Countering the connotation of escapism and disposability, Infinite Moment serves to enter your headspace and filter out your repetitive, intrusive thoughts via repetitive but welcomed synth and drum loops. Cynics might view his reputation as a maestro of repetition the same way one balks that “their kid could paint that” in a modern art gallery, but they’d only be unintentionally criticizing their own myopic understanding of how talented he is. Willner doesn’t rely on his loops; his loops rely on Willner.

It’s also worth considering Willner’s artistic journey, not only through his continued sound evolution but through the presentation of his album covers, even if they’ve all followed the same basic structure of his name and album title against a monochromatic background. Infinite Moment isn’t just his sixth album, it’s also possibly the end to a second, more foreboding trilogy than his initial trio. Whereas the brighter (relatively speaking) sounds of his first three albums reflected their soft, eggshell covers, the pitch black artwork of Cupid’s Head, The Follower, and now this album cultivate a techno witching hour. The first trilogy was for the evening, the second for the middle of the night, and Infinite Moment finds Willner leaning towards dusk, if not quite morning.

Upon the first few minutes of opener, ‘Made of Steel, Made of Stone,’ one’s initial impression might be that it’s the first Field album that seeks to primarily fill the listener with dread. An overlooked quality of Willner (or one that he does so well, it can go unnoticed) is that he’s never desperate to designate “moods” to his music. I’ve lost myself in the likes of From Here We Go Sublime and Looping State of Mind because they’ve allowed me to temporarily forget not only my mood but also that moods are a thing. Almost never have I felt like Willner was trying to dictate how his audience responds to his music. Even having an audience seems like it could be rather incidental to Willner, as his albums seem to close themselves off from everyone but himself.

As ‘Made of Steel, Made of Stone’ progresses, it cools down on the dread and takes some exciting directions (especially towards the end, when it sounds like a tower of pipe organs are collapsing upon one another in harmony), but the track waffles uncomfortably, making it hard to be as consistently engaged as usual. Willner, painter with sound that he is, seems too eager to lather new tones onto his canvas when he should be blending the ones he has already. It could be that ambition got the best of him. Its 11-minute runtime never feels entirely justified, like he decided on the length before he decided on the content.

An “off”-moment for a pro like Willner is still pretty impressive by most standards, and the rest of Infinite Moment delivers the confidence we’re looking for. As his second album (after The Follower) where the majority of the tracks are over ten-minutes-long, the already-patient Willner has had to learn more than ever how to exercise restraint while not falling into tedium. He should know by now that an entire album composed of one sixty-minute track could be a masterpiece in his knob-twiddling hands, providing he maintains his trust in himself.

On ‘Divide Now,’ hazy synths sound as though they’re being detached from themselves at every measure before their fragments swirling into the thumping kick drums and throbbing bass. Contrary to its title, this track is as unifying as anything Willner has ever composed. Things had to come apart to newly come together, but as the colors of his synths coalesce towards the end, it’s enchantment, Wilner-style, one that’s never actively seeking to dazzle. Nearly as long as the opener, ‘Divide Now’ triumphs by filling every moment with worth, from the breaks to the little nuggets of sonic exploration nestled deep in the mix. Later, ‘Who Goes There’ evolves where the opener meanders, starting off with synth drones that sound like mating calls and pitter-patter drums, before particularly rubbery bass is stretched every which way while the overall sense of subtlety is maintained. If there’s any single track here that would be a knockout with a full live band setup, it’s this one.

There’s also engrossing exploration of the human condition to be found on this album, and the blurred, looped vocal samples that Willner sources are far more effective than any fully decipherable ones could be. The haunting ‘Hear Your Voice’ is like being in the intensive care unit, either as the bedridden or an observer. Vocals babble deliriously, as if they’re approaching the light at the end of the tunnel, and when that light finally arrives, it's unadorned bliss via piano and flute that could represent an afterlife, or a lack thereof, depending on your perspective. Even the smaller parts of being a human (or existing at all) come through. The textures of ‘Something Left, Something Right, Something Wrong’ call to mind either feet shuffling on a carpet, a dog panting, or a myriad of other sounds to be realized with subsequent listens. It becomes melodic through sheer repetition, particularly with its sizzling hi-hats.

Willner is adept in avoiding outside influence by not succumbing to trends or paring down on his affinity for repetitive, lengthy arrangements, but someone who’s success hinges partially on their sampling of artists like Kate Bush and Lionel Richie has to give credit to their precursors, within and outside of their genre. The closing title track sounds as much like My Bloody Valentine as you can without plugging in a guitar. Based on previous tracks, and him having professed his appreciation for MBV before, this sound comes naturally to Willner, who can render minimal techno into heavenly shoegaze without giving either the short end of the stick.

Repetitiveness is Willner’s job, but Infinite Moment assures its not just another day at the office for him. It might not be the ideal starting place for those unfamiliar with The Field (should you be wondering, going in order is your safest bet), but it’s a worthy continuation of one of the most reliable discographies in our time. An amendment might need to be placed for Willner’s earlier statement. “A moment that feels good and you don’t want to end” could just as easily apply to his entire career as The Field.