Four Tet Everything Ecstatic

Over these past few years, producer Kieran Hebden has made quite a name for himself under the Four Tet moniker, constructing cinematically melodic aural tapestries over thumping, skittered break beats. For his latest LP, Hebden attempts to surpass what people have come to expect from him, this time around taking a much more free-form approach to beat making and then allowing this skirting of convention to inform the sonic direction of each track. The result is an album that’s a little more experimental than its predecessor. The stumbling back beat of "Turtle Turtle Up” offers an immediate example, with a rhythm that appears to be constantly collapsing in onto itself under the sounds of fazers and stuttering bleeps. Similarly, "Sun Drums and Soil” progresses into a type of controlled chaos, kicking off with a faced-paced break that pulls back once the undulating melody kicks in, which in turn loses it’s direction during the song’s middle portion, before the whole thing comes crashing aggressively back together again in its cluttered conclusion. Hebden criss-crosses this map between cohesion and chaos for much of the album, making for a record that, though perhaps not as readily accessible as other Four Tet projects, shows the machinations of an artist in a commendable exploration of his own musical boundaries. (Domino)