British Producer Kieran Hebden, a.k.a. Four Tet, is a modern-day master to put it modestly. His ambient meets UK underground sound is as addicting as it is technically impressive and aurally majestic. His latest album Morning/Evening is a sprawling two-track forty minute odyssey through intricate soundscapes and cements yet another beautifully crafted chapter in his illustrious career. This week we’ll look at some of Four Tet’s techier cuts including a look at his most recent release “BACK2THESTART.”
Most of Four Tet’s more club ready tracks tend to be released under alias, or more recently his actual name Kieran Hebden. Kieran’s collaborative track with the late Steve Reid “Strings of Life” sounds like a collision between a furious jazz solo and a self-aware synthesizer. Frenetic drums and stabby piano riffs collide with erratic bleeps and distorted filtering effects to create a cataclysmic torrent of sound. Written by techno founder Derrick May and performed live by Hebden himself, “Strings of Life” is a touching tribute to one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time.
Morning/Evening is actually the second album Four Tet has released this year. His first being a compilation of tracks he’s made under his Percussions alias from 2011 to 2014 aptly titled 2011 Until 2014. The lead single of that album “KHLHI” is one of the more club-ready outputs we’ve seen from Hebden in a while. Full of groovy basslines, melancholic accents, and a soulful vintage vocal sample “KHLHI” is bubbling little piece of tech that happily chugs along. The use of raw samples, drum machines, and a select few other elements Hebden creates a lo-fi feel that has been pervasive in the UK underground scene, partly due to Four Tet’s influence within the community.
Four Tet’s latest track “BACK2THESTART” shares a fair amount of similarities with “KHLHI.” Vintage samples and a lo-fi minimal aesthetic give both track a similar aural palette but are combined in surprisingly different ways to completely different results. “BACK2THESTART” with its repetitious hook and lyrical topline give the house tune a pop-like sensibility. Probably the most radio-friendly tune from Four Tet to date, this track is incredibly catchy and comes with a nice expansive bassline that envelops the listener in its warm embrace. And the cherry on top is that he’s giving it away on his Soundcloud, so go grab yourself some Four Tet-y goodness while its fresh.