4hero Playing With The Changes

4hero Playing With The Changes
After a six-year sabbatical from the 4hero project, Marc Mac and Dego have finally returned with a beautiful, funk-filled breaks and R&B album. Picking up where Creating Patterns left off, each track has the same esoteric tonality and addictive vocal hook of former anthems such as "Hold It Down,” "Starchasers” and "Another Day.” The progression from hardcore through jungle and drum & bass to soulful breaks finally seems to have resolved itself with an unmistakable signature sound always hinted at by the previous transitions. Their music is more organic than ever and almost every track is accompanied by a host of familiar vocalists, including Carina Andersson of "Les Fleur” fame and poetic collaborative mainstay Ursula Rucker. R&B legend Larry Mizell also guests on the eponymous album track and there are contributions from the talented Bembe Segue and Little Brother’s Phonte. From the moment the first track begins it is apparent that 4hero are back in full effect with warm bass lines, elegant instrumentation, lightly scattered beats and richer textures than ever before, but it does not become evident until the end quite how much their music has matured. This finally feels like the 4hero sound Marc and Dego have always been striving for.

How long was spent on writing this album?
Mark: It really came about over several years. We don’t just get in the studio and work on one album then it’s done. I have to listen back to it over several months before I know that I’m happy.

Were the changes just something that happened or was there a master plan?
A bit of both. I certainly think being youthful was a factor for our earlier work. When you’re 16 or 17 you don’t really want to be picking up violins in the studio and I think the sound reflected the struggle of someone growing up in suburban London yearning for more soulful music. Even back then we were still sampling the same artists but mostly just using the breaks.

What are the plans for the future?
That’s kind of what the whole album is about, I’ve just had a new baby and for us Playing With The Changes represents all the life changes we’ve been experiencing and how there’s so many new things going on now; you just have to keep adapting to it all as you go. (Raw Canvas)