Monday, 1 February 2010

Four Tet - There Is Love In You

Four Tet's fifth album was always going to struggle to follow 2005's 'Everything Ecstatic'. In the end, it looks as though he's produced a surprisingly solid release. Whether it consistently meets those demands is not always so easy to argue.

Hebden first began his music-making journey in 1997 with the post-rock/electronica band Fridge. Around 2001 the group informally parted ways, allowing Adam Ilhan and Sam Jeffers to attend college while Hebden focused on his own solo material. With his fourth album, 'Everything Ecstatic', everything exploded for him as his music began appearing in adverts and even Quantum Of Solice - not that anyone actually saw that film.

And he has the Radiohead seal of approval, having remixed 'Scatterbrain' from 'Hail To The Thief' ad supporting them on their 2003 European tour. Since then, his collaboration with Burial opened dubstep fans up to the possibilities of life after bass, whilst earning him an infinite number of cool points.

Tracks like 'Love Cry' blend the percussion-based melodies of his earlier work with the dark, techy melodies of 'Everything Ecstatic' to create a truly introspective release that flirts with everything from folk to techno to italo without becoming derivative. What's impressive is this blending of sounds and styles never detract from his own signature glitchy sound. His music is so removed from what is going on in the mainstream that it retains relevance and uniqueness across the years.

Unfortunately, Hebden only touches on the brilliance that went before, struggling to balance technical prowess with palatable melodies. Some tracks like 'Plastic People' manage it perfectly, but others get swallowed up by the skippy, glitches he puts in for almost no reason at all. Despite that, however, it is still a solid album and much better than 'Dialogue'. If you're expecting an improvement on 'Everything Ecstatic', then keep looking. Otherwise, tuck in and try to listen to this on its own merits, rather than in relation to its predecessor.

Stand out tracks: Love Cry, Plastic People, This Unfolds
Download: Four Tet - Love Cry (Joy Orbison Remix)

Title: There Is Love In You (wig254)
Artist: Four Tet
Out now on Domino

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