2009 was an interesting year for London based producer Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden; from his obsession with remixing Madlib tracks to his (fantastic) collaboration with dubstep producer Burial. Now at the beginning of a new decade, we are greeted with Four Tet's first LP of original work in five years.
Four Tet has progressively driven electronic musics lighter side away from the cliched 'chill out' furore that sprung from 90s success stories like Portishead. That scene lead to the illumination of such bore-tronica like Zero 7. In this LP, titled 'There is Love in You', Four Tet moves up and away from this image, by drawing influence from other artists that he has collaborated with and remixed.
The most obvious influence upon 'There is Love in You' appear to be that of his collaborator, Burial, and his remixer, Joy Orbison, their restrained strands of dubstep have markings across the LP. Urban disillusion and sparse landscapes are Burial's calling cards, and within this LP there are signs that Four Tet has drawn upon these points and attempted to recreate them on his own original work.
The best track on the LP is (in my opinion) undoubtedly Love Cry, which is an epic nine minutes long. However, the time flies by. We are greeted by the trademark turning cymbals and fervently individual bleeps and synths. The track crescendos several minutes in with a devilishly subtle acid bassline that is extremely easy to miss without the bass on your stereo pumped up.
Around five minutes into the track, when the bassline does enter, the feel of the whole track is altered. The listener is suddenly transported to an echoey dark place where the female vocals take on a whole new personality. This switch in mood and ambience are quite large, but the length of time taken to fully complete the ‘switch over’ is so long that the listener has enough time to adapt without being surprised
Another track, Angel Echoes, is also subtly brilliant. from the chopped vocals to the simplistic drum roll that leads the track towards it's beautiful climax involving, of all things, a xylophone riff. It recalls Bloc Party's Biko, not just for the use of xylophone, but the sparseness involved in combining simple instruments and a repeated vocals to great effect.
There is Love In You was released this past Monday and I recommend any readers to go out and buy the album. For now I will just give you 'Love Cry', though if you like what you hear, please get it, it is brilliant.