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Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic


Review: Jack Foley

KEIREN Hebden, aka Four Tet, is an artist who has long been at the forefront of the electronica movement, ever since the release of his debut album, Dialogue.

Yet the artist is continually striving to mix things up a bit and each new album has marked some sort of progression.

His latest, Everything Ecstatic, is probably his most accomplished to date. It's certainly his most lively.

Hebden, himself, describes it as the most 'charged' work he has put together and there is plenty to admire in its energetic blend of drum breaks, samples and quirky electronica.

The album finds its feet early, with Smile Around The Face capable of making you blush with enthusiasm as you dance to its intoxicating blend of drum loops and samples (which overlap organs with more natural, bird-like sounds).

Sun Drums and Soil tosses in a distinctly jazzy vibe, reminiscent in places of the Lalo Schiffrin era, while the lazy vibe of And Then Patterns is perfect for chilling out to, gradually integrating some beautiful piano loops and emerging as one of the best tracks on the long-player.

Occasionally, Hebden also throws in some deeply ambient moments, which function as pauses in between some of the more busy tracks, yet it's the only time the album really strikes a false note.

Hence, tracks such as Clouding (which last only a minute and a half, or less) threaten to break-up the feelgood vibe surrounding much of the album and divert it into pretentious, distinctly arthouse territory.

Yet he frequently has the ability to come back strong, with the likes of Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions (his seven-minute epic) serving to underline his reputation as one of the most interesting and challenging artists on the dance circuit.

Track listing:
1. A Joy
2. Smile Around The Face
3. Fuji Check
4. Sun Drums And Soil
5. Clouding
6. And Then Patterns
7. High Fives
8. Turtle Turtle Up
9. Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions
10. You Were There With Me

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