Yes, Hebden's here. Releasing very soon indeed is his newest Four Tet record and hopefully it'll be slightly more inventive than the laissez-faire samplefest that was Morning / Evening. It's got a nice cover and he's extremely good at making the electronic music he makes, need we say more, no we needn't.
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Let's talk about Muzak for a bit. Muzak is utterly fine by me. When you are waiting in a lift or on hold trying to get through to a call centre. It has a purpose in the normal trudge through life but on an album by someone who is continually touted as one of the UK's best producers? Kieran Hebden has had very few problems in his career. He's drifted from Fridge to Fourtet to his Text label with nary a question mark being posed over his skills. His main problem at this juncture is that he doesn't have to try too hard.
I listened to the rather ironically titled 'New Energy' over lunch and I have to admit there were several moments when I forgot it was on. First up 'Two Thousand and Seventeen' - I mean...that title. A slow jam of shy beats trodden over by the loudest dulcimer sample money can buy. That dulcimer really hammers home the point but check the production skills...once the phrase finishes it just gets chopped off - Hebden adds a touch of delay but can't disguise the hamfisted nature of proceedings. Then when you need something else to happen in comes the self same loop. 'LA Trance' was on Lauren Laverne show last week and I didn't turn it off because this is music you don't turn off. It just drifts nicely beneath whatever it is you are doing. For Hebden too this could be the case as he often seems to be adding things into the track whilst simultaneously checking his phone.
Best track? 'Lush' - a gorgeous loop with an almost Plaid type soft squelch to it- sparkles of electronic goodness glistening throughout. But not much else really registers. The looped voice of 'Daughter' is pretty special showing that the simplest ideas are often the best and in time worn style synths glide beneath for a marriage of beauty and something slightly disconcerting. Otherwise it's nice music to put on and just forget about. It has the rare ability to use up 53 minutes of your time leaving you grasping to actually recall any of it.
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- New Energy by Four Tet
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