Four Tet released his first solo album in 1997 under his real life name Keiran Hebden. From his second album onwards he has used the Four Tet moniker, which I suspect more people will be familiar with.
To-date he has released 8 solo albums, 3 mix albums with various artists groups alongside 4 as Keiran Hebden with Steve Reid, a jazz drummer.
I have never knowingly listened to any of Four Tet’s music before reviewing his latest offering with no preconceptions other than the small amount of background information above.
The album itself comes in a colourful cover (single gatefold) with little information on other than it consists of 2 tracks Morning/Evening and it is recorded using a lap top and various synths. The record labels and inner sleeve gives few clues with a sun on one side and a crescent moon on the other each track is approximately 20 minutes long.
Listening to side one “Morning” (the sun) starts with a steady beat with a quite haunting Indian female vocal drifting in. After a couple of minutes this becomes multi layered and the music becomes more complex with great stereo imaging. A deep bass note drifts across left and right behind the very pleasant vocal making for an enjoyable few minutes.
A sudden introduction of bass followed by the female vocal further forward in the mix takes the tempo up a notch and lots of clear crisp notes and sounds drift around in the expansive soundstage create a room filling sound that slowly gets dismantled drifting with multiple synth notes to fade out most enjoyable.
Side two “Evening” starts in much the same way and again builds up with layers of synth notes and sound effects for the first few minutes then the female vocal fades in with a much more dynamic bass line but the sound scape is constantly changing and keeps your attention.
About two thirds in and a big bass drum and high hat combo fade in from way behind the speakers into centre stage, quickly backed up by a heavier bass note that drives the music filled with all sorts of sounds and superb imaging once again right through to the abrupt end.
My conclusion is simple if you buy this and listen a few times it will become a favourite if you like electronica but there’s more to it than that it’s entertaining 40 minutes passes very quickly with great room filling synths and bass wrapped up in a super stereo audio picture.
As a newcomer to Four Tet, but a seasoned fan of electronica, this has certainly wet my whistle to hear more of his works.