Beautiful Rewind was the seventh album released by Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden). It was (ahem) 'dropped' without any fanfare or trailers which led to an excitable reception particularly with lead track Kool FM which eventually found its way onto Grand Theft Auto. Elsewhere it's more reliable electronics from Hebden which expands on his previous There Is Love In You by moving his fluttering sample-based electronica into darker territories.
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- Beautiful Rewind by Four Tet
The new way to release records seems to be with as little fanfare as possible. Just ‘drop’ it when no-ones looking and let the fans clamour themselves silly. Fourtet is a busy man, and gives the impression of being a confident one although I’m sure he is as drenched in doubt as everyone else. This new album pretty much appeared out of nowhere this week and is streaming all over the internet if you want to listen with your own ears rather than read to the rantings of a tired, prickly old man.
One of Kieran Hebden’s biggest attributes is consistency, he never makes particularly bad records; they are all generally of a decent standard yet similarly I’ve not heard too much stuff by him that knocks my face clean off and don’t share the often widely regarded opinion that he is a maestro of electronic music, he’s just good at what he does, like a particularly reliable plumber that you know you can depend on. The album seems to expand on previous album ‘There Is Love In You’'s move to darker, harder edged territory. Opener ‘Gong’ fuses skittery beats, hip hop voice samples with Burial style distant echoey voices which works pretty nicely without making you feel anything whatsoever.
More conventionally tuneful is ‘Parallel Jalebi’ which opens with a staccato synth bassline and adds nice ethereal vocals which sound lovely. It goes absolutely nowhere but in a very pleasant manner. I’m liking ‘Ba Teaches Yoga’ which has a real balearic feel with a repetitive vocal sample and a sunny disposition. The single ‘Kool FM’ is a "banger" which I’d imagine (as I never go to them anymore) would sound great in the club. It comes to life half-way through with a ‘hey hey hey’ voice sample and churning noise before going all Afrobeat on your ass.
A quick flick through the B side (c’mon I don’t have ALL day) reveals that the more house fixation of his previous album hasn’t gone away. ‘Aerial’ is a fairly sweet example of this while ‘Ever Never’ is all tinkly melodic electronica like your Warp Records used to make. Closer ‘Your Body Feels’ contrasts synthetic warm synth sounds with the kind of awkward distinctive vocal sample Hebden specialises in. Overall it's another sturdy effort, if you have an electronica shaped hole in your life, this will probably fill it.
7/10 jeroen 20th November 2013
As much as I like Four tet/Fridge, I think Kieran needs an editor next to him to prefend him from releasing everything he does during the day. As with most of the Four tet records from the last 2 years this could have been great with some tracks kept in the basement. I think that his older records like "rounds" or "everything ecstatic" had more depth and odd noises, there was a certain freshness and surprise that I do miss with his more recent stuff.
9/10 uxi 5th October 2013
I'm not Four Tet's biggest fan, I don't like all if his discography (which is big enough to keep you busy for days), but I love the atmosphere that he creates, his remixes, and I loved "There Is Love In You", where he started to get more clubby and less Brian Eno, with more beats and less guitar arpeggios and wonders.
When Omar Souleyman announced that his album was produced by Four Tet I got really excited, not only because I'm looking for "Wenu Wenu" but also because I thought that all the sound from the Middle East in Four Tet hands could get a completely new dimension, "Beautiful Rewind" was(for me) supposed to be that combination, sadly it's not, it has some afro though. Is it just me or afro is everywhere?
After 48hrs I'm still listening to Beautiful Rewind and finding new sounds, beats, and pauses that weren't there before. BR is catchy, it's complicated, it lets you dance or have a cup of tea, how do you want to listen to this record is up to you. I guess that Beautiful Rewind is what happens when you play Aphex Twin in a club.
The only thing that I don't like is the album cover, seriously Kieran, is horrible!
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