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- 0181 by Four Tet (Fourtet)
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9/10 Laurie J Customer review, 9th July 2014
Just imagine the hoards of laptop scraps in Kieran Hebden’s possession. 20+ years of chopped breaks, obscure jazz grooves and Spiegel synths chilling in silicon somewhere in London. You can also imagine my reaction when I found out that the ‘Tet suddenly released a collection of these scraps produced between 1997 and 2001 in the form of 0181.
Perhaps ‘scraps’ doesn’t quite do these imaginative chunks justice. The album is a feast of jazzy beats and textural pieces strung together in a stream-of-mad-consciousness, jumping from cuts that wouldn’t be out of place on Ninja Tune to piano soundscapes without a moment’s notice. This diversity is a great example of this man’s breadth of production skills.
One of the most obvious features of 0181 is the lack of 4x4 house/techno grooves which has become a hallmark of more recent Four Tet, entirely engulfing 2012’s ‘Pink’ and his Percussions moniker. In this way, it would serve as a sort of time capsule, if the tracks didn’t sound so damn fresh. There’re even some extremely infectious melodies - see the section at 19:40 for a slick, easygoing brass and sax lick.
It’s great when such a talented producer delves into the archives to find still-relevant gems, and I’m betting that Hebden has a lot more that will hopefully see the light of day.