Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, Burial, Four Tet, Kieren Hebden, Releases of the Week
PREVIEW: VISIT Four Tet’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 17/20 Watts
For quite some time, Kieren Hebden, aka Four Tet, has been numbly classified as one of our time’s premier “folktronica” pioneers. His 2003 release, Rounds, has long since been hailed as an electronic masterpiece and one of the genre’s manifestos. However, seldom has he been recognized for his finesse in combining his love for experimental electronica with his talent for club DJing. That is, until the drop of his seventh studio release, There Is Love In You.
As the record opens, listeners are met with Four Tet’s classic down-tempo, dance-inspired sound on “Angel Echoes.” As the track builds via a hauntingly repetitive melodic figure, a stuttering vocal track acts as Hebden’s ornamentation to an already harmonically stunning track. Such is the case with almost every cut on the record, which marks the high point of Hebden’s career as Four Tet.
Without relying too heavily on his DJing background, Hebden manages to compose tracks that beautifully blend experimental electronic aesthetics with club oriented, dance-inspired structure. Hebden develops themes in a style reminiscent of schoolmate and Dubstep legend Burial with whom he collaborated on for 2009’s Moth/Wolf Club.
Hebden refuses to rely exclusively on that method, though, displaying his penchant for the avant-garde approaches on tracks like “Reversing,” which manages to merely exist as a sonic trip into a subconscious he defines through an impressively tolerable use of vinyl crackle and reversed samples.
Regardless of how you choose to interpret Hebden’s style, it’s tough to deny it’s genius. The genre-crossing sounds of There Is Love In You manage to appeal to the visceral and the intellectual, lining this release up to be one of the genre’s best. So regardless of what you’d like to classify Four Tet’s latest effort as, just make sure that you preface it with some allusion to greatness.
— John Luposello