Kieran Hebden/Steve Reid Tongues

Tongues is the third studio recording by the duet of laptopper/guitarist Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) and veteran drummer Steve Reid, whose CV ranges from Martha and the Vandellas to Fela Kuti, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra and Miles Davis. Unlike their earlier encounters on The Exchange Sessions, Vol. 1 & 2, which featured long, exploratory improvisations, the tracks on Tongues are tighter and shorter. It’s music that offers proof that computers may well be more erratic and less rational than human beings. Reid’s rolling, freeform grooves are the music’s heartbeat, especially the warm pulse of his bass drum, providing a grounding to Hebden’s postmodern fantasias, a series of virtual, self-destructing sound worlds constructed out of ethereal sonic floods, growling bass lines, sprays of high-pitched squiggles and mangled samples of flutes and cowbells. Some of the tracks succumb to Hebden’s jitteriness but when the two musicians build their improvisations patiently, the results are often magical, such as the glitch-strewn ritual drumming of "Left Handed, Left Minded.” (Domino)