Four Tet Pause

Twenty-two-year-old British producer and musician Kieran Hebden keeps good company, and it's little wonder. With creativity oozing from his experimental soul, Hebden is bound to attract similarly interesting collaborators. He founded post-rock trio Fridge (also known for touring as Badly Drawn Boy's backing band), has remixed artists including Cinematic Orchestra, Aphex Twin and 2 Banks of Four, and creatively riffs with Toronto's own Dan "Manitoba" Snaith. The man is mad talented, constantly erasing the concept of musical genres and absolutely shines on this second solo album. A whole other level of blissed-out, Pause is beyond sublime. Sounds shimmer, rub up against one another, appear and disappear, while quirks and personality traits peek out from the corners. "Glue of the World" introduces the album with frenzied typing that gives way to delicate acoustic guitar and gentle, jazzy beats. Like the kindest of summer evenings, the song is moody without being melancholic. The result is a dreamy state, one we stay in for the album's entirety. The intensely original "Twenty three" sees the acoustics paired with bits, beeps and chilled beats. "Parks" is a slightly more abstract take on a similar theme, while the sparse "Untangle" ups the tempo and demonstrates that Hebden is an incredibly mature producer, giving his sounds and samples ample breathing space. Four Tet's folky leanings illuminate the sing-along instrumental greatness of "Everything Is Alright," while his prankish side comes out to play during "No More Mosquitoes," where squishy, fun programming, squiggles of electronics and a childlike voice have one singing along instantly; nothing short of brilliant. (Domino)