Based in the cultural hub and musical hotspot of Berlin, Swedish DJ/producer Axel Willner - aka The Field - is back for his first studio LP since 2011's Looping State Of Mind. The new record, entitled Cupid's Head, follows up a dance album that's revered as essentially a modern classic; needless to say, it's a difficult feat to equal, much less top. Reportedly stuck in an aimless fug and creative block, the album found its stride once Willner had crafted a golden loop, which would later become the foundations for 'No. No...' He states, simply: "It sets a mood for the entire album."

On that track, rhythms skip and skirt each other, circling each other as if gearing up for an oily bare-knuckle boxing match. Shattered Knife-esque vocal samples judder amongst ducking and weaving polyrhythms. The atmosphere is midnight-in-a-forest dark, and the creaking angles of neo-techno provide a cinematic backdrop; it feels like it should be a Cliff Martinez OST.

Bass drones are liquid, an occasional distorted kick beat snaps and serpentine hi-hats skate over the tense sonic smog. Though it appears, and indeed begins, rather surreptitiously, the music grows exponentially into a thundering post-rock crescendo before slipping down a gear and taking three minutes to fizzle out. It's bloody lovely, and no wonder Willner sees it as a focal point of the record.

"For me, Cupid's Head is about visions of the future, tiny actions and their consequences, about sentimentality and most certainly about life," says Willner of the record's meaning. In many respects, he ably evokes the first of those - it's got an overtly futuristic streak. Cupid's Head has the ability to conjure visions of grotesque dystopian machinations, bleak greyscale urban landscapes and the shadowy recesses of a world akin to that in Blade Runner. It's an evocative record. However, without knowing first that it's basically about the butterfly effect, that may well be tougher to discern via non-existent lyrics and rugged buzzsaw synths.

'20 Seconds Of Affection', rather than being like its namesake, is actually almost ten minutes of fuzzy warped trance. It floats rather than drives, though there's a dedicated rhythm section underneath the rusty synth conflagration. Eleven minute opus 'Black Sea' throbs and chugs with Ed Banger-cum-Thrill Jockey noise-funk; shredded vox merge with cowbell-ish bops and disco beats that eventually morph into a murky menace. It's considerably more poppy than a lot of the sounds on Cupid's Head, but it still retains that gloopy post-house infiniteness and a lump of gnarled terror.

With the shortest track on Cupid's Head totalling a mere 6:33, it's clear this isn't really an album you can just drop in to. There's no plonking yourself down for a track, it's an LP that requires almost consistent attention to achieve full effect, otherwise you're left a bit bewildered after ten minutes of hypnotic avant-garde techno static. To experience the full-force oomph of it, you need to be immersed and discover the myriad layers between cuts; the charm of this appears through the nuances between efforts. It's minimalist at heart, and thus often repetitive, so in order to appreciate the narratives and themes Willner is attempting to sculpt, you need to hear the scope of subtlety, and not just a minute cross-section.

If you're just after some doom'n'gloom dance for a creepy-ass rave, then it'll work too - but you're unlikely to 'get' Willner's intentions. How much you appreciate this will depend on how you experience it, but for those willing to go the extra mile and just listen, you'll probably enjoy it a helluva lot more.